Alaleh Azhir grew up in Iran where she pursued her passion for mathematics. Alaleh immigrated with her mother to the United States at the age of 14. Determined to overcome strict gender roles she had witnessed towards women, Alaleh was determined to improve healthcare for them.
Alaleh graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2019 as a triple major in biomedical engineering, computer science, and applied mathematics and statistics, with a perfect GPA (including an A+ in 30 courses). A Rhodes and Barry Goldwater Scholar, she has developed many novel tools for visualization and analysis of genomics data at Harvard, MIT, the NIH, and laboratories in Switzerland as well as at Johns Hopkins. Her work has been cited over a hundred times by scientists all around the world. Alaleh continued building a strong computational background prior to entering medical school through the master’s in statistical science program at University of Oxford. She served on the board of various student organizations mentoring middle school students, editing a philosophy journal, running arts programs for children in under-resourced neighborhoods, and providing cooked meals for a shelter for survivors of domestic abuse.
Alaleh is currently a medical student at the Harvard-MIT HST program, with a thesis focused on the role of X and Y sex chromosomes on disease manifestations. Through medical training, she aims to build further computational tools specifically for preventive care for women. She also has founded and directs the nonprofit organization, Frappa, aimed at mentoring other women living in Iran to immigrate abroad through the graduate school application process.