PCOM Med Student Selected for All of Us Research Program
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Brianna Hector (DO '26) Selected for All of Us Research Program

December 16, 2022

PCOM med student Brianna Hector will research maternal mortality rates through the All of Us research program.For Brianna Hector (DO '26), being selected for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) All of Us Research Program is a personal affair.

The program is an eight-month effort to design a student research project utilizing the data available from the All of Us Research Hub, a central database of health data from a diverse group of one million or more participants from across the United States. Registered researchers can access data and tools to conduct their studies and help improve public understanding of human health. Student participants also receive skills training and mentorship for professional development.

Hector is a first-generation student studying in the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) program, and her research interests include topics primarily affecting Black and Brown communities, especially her own. When developing her research concentration for the All of Us program, she knew that would be her focus.

Over the course of eight months, Hector will use the data from the Research Hub to investigate maternal mortality rates of Black and Latino mothers in the Philadelphia area. Data from the CDC shows that Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than White women. She will also examine how cortisol and stress levels affect maternal mortality.

Originally from Piscataway, New Jersey, contributing to her community is nothing new for Hector. “I take pride in my community service,” she says. “I ran the first health fair in the community for the local Jamaican organization, but initially found my passion for community service when I volunteered with WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), assisting women and children experiencing domestic violence.”

As both a student and a community volunteer, she has consistently looked to her parents as role models. “My mother is my biggest role model,” Hector says. “She received her doctorate raising two kids. Seeing her achieve her dreams and better herself made me want to be like her.” Hector's dad, a computer scientist, helped her not to lose sight of her ultimate goal. “My dad encouraged me to stick with medicine and stay on my path,” she says.

Hector is hopeful the data collected through the program will have an impact. “I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else is doing through this program,” she says. “How it's going to better the contributors who submitted their health information. 

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    For the past 125 years, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM, a private, not-for-profit accredited institution of higher education, operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, and school psychology. The college also offers graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, physician assistant studies, and school psychology. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.

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