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Syeda Akila Ally (Akila)

Student Division Treasurer

Syeds Akila Ally (Akila) attends the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. She is currently pursuing a research year investigating factors that mediate the effect of nutrition on the progression of chronic kidney disease in patients with sickle cell disorder. Born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh, she moved to the U.S. to attend college at The University of Chicago. After graduating with a degree in Biology, she worked in Chicago’s public health agency for 3 years, where, she partnered closely with persons with disabilities and individuals returning from incarceration. “Nothing About Us, Without Us” – she learned from her community partners – and it galvanized her to pursue medicine and transform the current healthcare system.

During her time at UIC, Akila has served as a member of the Student Curricular Board, the Co-Chair of the Student Wellness Committee, and the Treasurer of the University Student Medical Council. She also serves as the Diversity Vice President of the national Asian Pacific American Medical Association (APAMSA), and the Co-Chair of the American Medical Association Student Section’s national Minority Issues Committee. As a first-generation immigrant who learned English as a teenager, Akila’s biggest passion is mentoring. She continues to mentor young women in Bangladesh, first-generation immigrant students at UChicago, and through AMWA.

Rooted in the community, Akila has worked with MedGlobal, Chicago Public Schools, and UChicago’s Program on Medicine and Religion to conduct health education and interventions in refugee camps in Bangladesh, mosques, and churches in Chicago, and disadvantaged schools in Dhaka and Chicago. Her experience in combatting health injustices also sustains her passion to advocate for herself and other women of color pursuing academic medicine.

Outside of her professional life, you can find her supporting local music artists, or perusing independent bookstores as she tries to reach her goal of reading 1000 books.

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