Anika Ullah is a National Geographic Explorer, 2018-2019 Fulbright Research Scholar to Taiwan and incoming graduate student at the MIT Media Lab exploring how visual media, participatory scientific/health research, and policy engagement can be synthesized for global health activism, environmental justice, and social change.
She is currently on her Fulbright year in Taiwan working with the Taiwanese Ministry of Health and Welfare to investigate culturally compatible strategies for betel nut linked oral cancer mitigation with a focus on Taiwan's indigenous and rural communities. To learn more, visit her Fulbright blog here.
Anika's previous experiences span scientific research, activism, and the arts.
She founded the award-winning nonprofit organization Intersectional Health Project San Diego with the mission of investigating and tackling overshadowed health and social-issues in San Diego's border communities. She and her team launched innovative projects such as working with the San Diego Housing Commission to map unsafe school crossing zones near hotspots of hepatitis A infection, directing a documentary film about the link between pollution, respiratory health, and environmental justice in the border town of San Ysidro, CA, and exploring the potential of citrus fruit as publicly accessible biosensors for air pollution. Her community-engaged projects and multimedia artworks have been recognized by the United States Congress, TEDx Talks, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, University of California President Janet Napolitano, CalEPA, and others. In terms of health research, Anika has been nationally recognized by the American Gastroenterological Association and Association of Women in Science for her research on helping develop a low cost therapeutic platform for inflammatory bowel disease at Stanford University. Her senior honors thesis in Biology and Visual Arts at UC San Diego centered on leading a clinical microbiome study to understand the urinary microbiome’s link to urinary tract infections and using new media arts to investigate the intersections of race and gender shaping stigmas in women’s health.
Anika Ullah is a Bangladeshi-American
emerging scientist, multimedia artist,
and global health + environmental activist.
2019-2021 Incoming Master's Student,
MIT Media Lab
Research Scholar, Taiwan and China
2014-2018 University of California, San Diego
Grants & Awards
2018 National Geographic Society
Early Career Grant
2018 U.S Congressional Award for Public Health
2018 Fulbright Research Grant,
Taiwan and China
2018 '25 Under 25' Artist Award,
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
2018 TEDx Talk
2017 Gabriele Wienhausen Endowed Biological Sciences Scholar
2017 Ledell Science and Engineering Scholar
2017 Frontiers of Innovation Research
2017 Thurgood Marshall Art, Research, and Service Scholar
2017 Chancellor's Seed Fund for Innovation
2017 UCSD Social Innovation Fellow
2017 American Gastroenterological Association Student Abstract Prize
2017 Poster of Distinction at Digestive Disease Week International Research Conference
2017 Associated Students Research Grant
2017 Russell Visual Arts Grant
2016 Association of Women in Science San Diego Scholar
2014 National Chinese Speech Competition Winner: Chinese Office of Chinese Language Council International
Talks, Exhibitions, Conferences
2018 TEDx Talk, 'Visualization and the
Interconnected Imagination (in
the Age of the Internet),
2018 Speaker, 'Nature's Calling:
through Academia, Policy, and
Art' Speaker, the Global Forum
2018 UC Undergraduate Research Ambassador- Selected by UC
Office of the President
2018 Plenary Speaker, Harvard
National Collegiate Research
Engagement, and Visual Media
for Health Activism'
2017 TheFront Art Gallery, ‘Impacts of the Border: Air Quality & Health,’ solo film exhibition
2017 Speaker, UCSD Changemaker Day, ‘Synthesizing Science, Community Engagement, and Visual Media for Health Activism'
2017 Speaker, UCSD Triton Day,
Research Experiences for
2017 Sinha, Sidhartha R., Linh
Nguyen, Anika N. Ullah, and
Aida Habtezion. "Topical
Delivery of IL-10 Using a
Thermosensitive Drug Delivery
Platform to Treat Murine
Colitis." Gastroenterology 152,
no. 5 (2017): S567.
2017 'Demystifying Urinary Tract Infections: New Perspectives on the Flora Flourishing Inside the Urogenital Tract,' Saltman
Quarterly Vol. 14
2017 'The National Microbiome Initiative: Re-envisioning the Microbiome,' Saltman Quarterly Fall Insider
2016 - 'Waltzing our Way to Creativity
and Cognition,' Saltman Quarterly Vol. 13