Anika Ullah

Anika Ullah

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 

2018-2019  Fulbright

                   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:

          Addressing Environmentalism   

          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     

          Conference, 'Synthesizing   

          Science, Community 

          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, 

          'IHPSD: Interdisciplinary 

           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