Hannah Lou long assumed she would become a doctor like her grandfather, who helped raise her in China while her parents studied abroad.
Those assumptions changed after Lou came to the United States at age nine to live with her parents. A different path revealed itself when she attended Rice University.
As a biochemistry and English major, she realized she was interested more in the human side of medicine than the clinical side. Two volunteer experiences introduced her to health care's role in diverse communities. Lou helped with a vaccination program at a Houston homeless shelter and spent the summer of 2009 in southern China, teaching basic health education to the daughters of migrant workers. After graduating from Rice, she worked for a Palo Alto-based nonprofit that develops medical products for low-income people around the world.
Lou learned about the regulatory, trade, and cost barriers to sharing life-changing medical technology with those populations. Becoming a lawyer would allow her to address those obstacles. She chose to study at UC Hastings because of its expertise in international law and its interdisciplinary collaboration with UCSF on law, science, and health policy.
Lou, who became a U.S. citizen in high school, is not sure if she wants to work for an international nonprofit or a global health care start-up, but she knows UC Hastings is where she needs to be. "How you merge law, science and health policy is very in line with my interests," she says.
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