Alumni Highlight

Neil Thivalapill
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Institute for the Study of Human Rights congratulates Human Rights graduate Neil Thivalapill on winning the 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Human Rights Coalition’s annual student essay competition.

Thivalapill’s research at Columbia centered on developing the analytical framework for applying the right to health and the right to benefit from scientific progress to infectious diseases. His paper for the AAAS Science and Human Rights Competition examines applying this framework to the Neglected Tropical Diseases, a group of infectious diseases that have been historically excluded from funding, research, and interventions. Professor Inga Winkler supervised on the paper.

The AAAS Science and Human Rights Student Essay Competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students, who were invited to write an essay on any topic at the intersection of science, technology and human rights. 56 students from 24 different countries entered the competition in 2018.

Thivalapill graduated in 2018 with a B.A. in Biology and Human Rights from Columbia College. Thivalapill is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology, concentrating in Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His work centers on evaluating current interventions to mitigate the burden of infectious diseases for populations experiencing human rights abuses, with a geographical focus in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.