Sernah Essien


UC Riverside School of Medicine

My name is Sernah and I am a first generation Ghanaian-American who will be starting medical school at UC Riverside School of Medicine in the summer of 2021. I received my B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Boston University and a M.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Tufts University School of Medicine. After completing my masters, I became a cutaneous oncology researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Specifically, I research the T cell response in different types of skin cancers. 


Alongside my journey in higher education, I have worked as an advocate for health justice and access to medicines for five years. As a student leader with Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, I organize local and national campaigns, speak to people in classrooms and conferences nationwide, and support university chapters in their work. During the Covid-19 pandemic, I helped launch a virtual campaign for global vaccine access while applying to medical school. Health equity is one of my passions, and something I have committed myself to in various ways as I've worked to get to medical school. I am excited for the opportunities to be a physician advocate for health equity and apply that lens to the way I administer care. 


In my free time, I enjoy roller blading, cooking, reading Black feminist thought, and astrology. Equity in education is very personal to me, and I hope to be able to help deserving students in their journey to enter medical school.