University of Miami
United States of America
Ms. Leah Dodds was born and raised in the Commonwealth of Dominica – a low middle income country (LMIC) in the Caribbean known for its unique natural beauty. In 2014, Leah was awarded the GCE A-Level Island Scholarship which allowed her to pursue undergraduate studies at the University of Miami. In 2018, Ms. Dodds graduated from the University of Miami, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Nutrition, and a minor in Health Sector Management and Policy. She was also the recipient of The David G. Anderson Prize for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology amongst her graduating peers. During her time at the University of Miami, Leah dedicated her energy towards health advocacy and disease prevention. Leah studied hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome and was recognized by the American Association for Cancer Research as a 2017-2018 Thomas J Bardos Undergraduate Scholar for her work in cancer research. As part of her research project, Leah was involved in the distribution of genetic test results in LMICs in the Caribbean, particularly her native country - Dominica, where she engaged with the Dominica Cancer Society. Ms. Dodds also attended the Clinton Global Initiative Conference, where she engaged in conversations with the Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, to discuss mechanisms to foster education and awareness of the HPV vaccine. In 2017, Leah travelled to Nicaragua and Ghana as a medical volunteer where she facilitated mobile clinics and conducted education workshops on personal hygiene and diet. While raising awareness and providing care, she had the opportunity to do home visits, to understand the nature of the diseases presented. This year, Leah served as a Site Leader for a Community Health project at 180 Degree Farm in Sharpsburg, Georgia. She aided in the cultivation of naturally grown vegetables and fruits, grass-fed meat and pasture-raised eggs and was also fortunate to speak to high school students about the benefits of an organic diet and the contributions of the farm to the lives of cancer patients. Leah also attended the African Caribbean Cancer Consortium (AC3) biannual conference where she took part in community outreach to foster cancer literacy and the empowerment of patients through knowledge. Currently, Ms. Dodds volunteers with the Student National Medical Association at the Miller School of Medicine in Miami. In partnership with Urgent Cuts Barbershop in Overtown-Miami, Ms. Dodds helps to provide free monthly hypertension screenings and preventive education for cardiovascular disease to men waiting to get their hair cut. Leah is currently employed as a Research Associate at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and is interested in specializing as an OB/GYN which stems from her understanding that both native and international communities require the funding prioritization and availability of professionals in women’s health. In the future, Ms. Dodds will remain engaged in NCD prevention and develop skills as a physician scientist to prepare her for a career that influences health policy and administrative decision making within medical delivery.