Symposium

Of Rising ScholarsFall 2022

Megha will be presenting at The Symposium of Rising Scholars on Saturday, September 24th! To attend the event and see Megha's presentation,

Register here!
Go to Polygence Scholars page
Megha Ramkumar's cover illustration
Polygence Scholar2022
Megha Ramkumar's profile

Megha Ramkumar

Foothill High SchoolClass of 2024Pleasanton, CA

About

Projects

  • "How Does Autoimmunity Impact Women Of Color, Particularly During Pregnancy? How Do Flaws In The American Healthcare System Prevent Women of Color Who Face Autoimmune Diseases From Receiving Treatement?" with mentor Menjin (Katie) (Working project)

Project Portfolio

How Does Autoimmunity Impact Women Of Color, Particularly During Pregnancy? How Do Flaws In The American Healthcare System Prevent Women of Color Who Face Autoimmune Diseases From Receiving Treatement?

Started May 9, 2022

Abstract or project description

Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, are highly threatening diseases in which the body attacks its own healthy cells due to an inability to differentiate between foreign antigens and the body’s own cells. Exhibiting symptoms such as chronic joint pain,fatigue, recurring fevers, and abdominal pain, data analysis reveals that women – especially women of color – have been disproportionately impacted and diagnosed with various autoimmune diseases. In the modern era, women have been expected to “manage it all” by keeping up with hustle culture,maintaining a perfect family life, while balancing other various external pressures. This onset of greater stress along side major hormonal and sex chromosome differences between men and women could potentially be the driving force in understanding why autoimmune diseases are more common amongst women. Throughout this research paper, there will be an overall theme of explaining and understanding how and why autoimmune diseases have a greater effect on women of color. Although autoimmune diseases are commonly studied, their impacts on pregnancy are not as frequently articulated to the public. A quite intriguing set of data and studies reveals that during pregnancy, women with autoimmune diseases can experience amelioration of their disease or deterioration of it. This itself could potentially pose varying degrees of risk to the health and safety of the child. The processes and results of these different risks posed by autoimmune diseases to the mother and child will be assessed in this research paper. However, the scope for this paper is not limited to solely the biological impacts but will also take a social approach. By applying data analysis methods, this research paper will view how racial discrimination within the American Healthcare System and scientific studies limits the available treatment and increases the severity of autoimmunity for women of color. The potential end goal for this project is to hopefully publish and produce a thorough research paper that not only highlights the prevalence of autoimmunity in women and the impacts this has to the fetus during pregnancy, but also highlights how social factors, such as racial discrimination, play a huge factor in the combat for equality within the understanding of autoimmunity.