The first scientific journal on health is launched
The first scientific journal on health is launched

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William Liu / Thrasher

By James Cancelarich 03/26/24 10:40 PM

The first edition of Rice Remedy Magazinethe first student-run health sciences journal, covering topics ranging from LGBTQ+ health care to the history of cancer, was launched online on January 7.

Editor-in-Chief Anuska Santra said about 15 people currently work on the journal, including a team of writers who write on health science topics of interest to them.

Santra, a junior at Sid Richardson College studying health sciences and neuroscience, said she founded the journal with fellow Sid junior Bryant Polanco to highlight the scope and interdisciplinary nature of the health sciences at Rice. She said she previously worked on Neurotransmitter, a neuroscience journal, but found herself more interested in health science topics.

“[Polanco and I] we were interested in something beyond the neurosciences, and we were interested in much broader things that aligned much more with the health sciences major,” Santra said. “So we [started] magazine that appealed a little more to our personal interests.

Santra said she felt the need for the journal because health sciences are often not well understood by the majority of students.

“A lot of people don’t know what the health sciences mean,” Santra said. “So at Rice, health sciences is public health, what public health looks like, what public health professionals do … it’s very interdisciplinary, as I discovered. Almost everything I learn about can be related to people’s health in some way, and that is very interesting to me.

Santra said her interest in art also led them to create a journal that featured student designs.

“The art in the journal is very thoughtful,” Santra said. “I love art. I like to think about art. I think my nerdy STEM my pre-med stuff can be art.”

Polanco, who also studied health sciences and neuroscience, said his interest in art also inspired him to start the magazine with Santra.

“I had a lot of experience in design and graphic design,” Polanco said. “I want to make [health sciences] more accessible, make it funnier and more engaging to watch.”

HEALAR faculty advisor Cassandra Diep, assistant professor of health sciences, said the health sciences major and HEALAR prepare students for careers in health policy. She wrote the faculty keynote for Rice Remedy, a HEALAR publication.

“The health sciences major introduces students to public health, specifically health promotion and behavioral sciences,” Deep wrote in an email to Thresher. “However, we include epidemiology, health policy, biostatistics and other disciplines within public health.”

Akshay Sethi, a junior at Sid Richardson College studying bioscience and political science, wrote article on Rice Remedy on the geographic determinants of health in Harris County. His project examines the disproportionate health outcomes based on proximity to the petrochemical industry.

“To begin the research process, I [looked at] …the founding of the city of Houston in the 1800s and how it was planned,” said Sethi. “How does zoning work? There aren’t any zoning laws here, but how does the planning work for Houston and what specific zones were delineated?’

In his article, Sethi suggests implementing new zoning laws and stricter regulations for the petrochemical industry. Sethi says that in the future, she hopes to publish a photojournalism article in Rice Remedy detailing the communities that are often disproportionately affected by the petrochemical industry.

“I [want to] tour Houston and … take some photos around places I’ve researched before to highlight different communities and areas,” Sethi said. “There’s a lot of history that intersects with how geography plays out for the lives of [those] communities and neighborhoods.”

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