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Cyrus Ghaznavi

Class of 2017-2018

About Cyrus

(updated 6/2018) Raised in a Dallas home by an Indian mother and an Iranian father, Cyrus Ghaznavi was imbued with the spirit of multiculturalism, which gave him an international outlook in his education, especially with respect to global health.  Cyrus graduated from Rice University in May 2017 with a B.A. in Biological Sciences and Policy Studies.  While an undergraduate, he researched rotavirus infection of human intestinal cells to understand how reactive oxygen species incur robust interferon responses. His affinity for virology has earned him the nickname, “Cyrus the Virus,” which was especially appropriate for a class he taught at Rice entitled, “WWIII: Intro to Biowarfare.”  Drawing on his experience as a researcher and global health enthusiast, Cyrus co-founded the Rice University chapter of END7, an international campaign devoted to raising awareness of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and funds for their elimination in disadvantaged nations across the globe. Since its founding, he has traveled to Washington, D.C. annually to lobby for increased funding for the USAID NTD budget by speaking to congressional representatives.  Recognizing the importance of policy in the advancement of science, he interned in D.C. at the Federation of American Scientists, where he researched legal trends in biotechnological patent law after a string of paradigm-shifting Supreme Court cases.  A visiting researcher at the Department of Global Health Policy at Tokyo University during his Luce year, Cyrus focused on infectious disease modeling using computer programming and mathematical techniques to quantify disease-spread.  Though his background is in wet-lab biological research, Cyrus was able to shift gears and studied up on data analytics and policy-oriented health research.  Upon his return to the U.S., Cyrus will attend medical school, focusing on infectious diseases, and hopes to build a career at the World Health Organization. In his free time, Cyrus enjoys trying new restaurants, listening to audiobooks, writing poetry, and attempting to make Japanese puns.

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