Azhar Akber is a first year dental student at the University of California, San Francisco School of Denistry. Congrats! He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland in 2019, graduating with a degree in chemistry.
Azhar moved to the United States from Urumchi when he was 16 years old. Throughout high school and his first year of college, he took ESOL classes to improve his English and was able to graduate with an excellent GPA and was featured on the Dean’s List multiple times.
In his second year of college, he was selected for a research program and worked as a guest researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). His project was aimed at optimizing automated imaging parameter settings to improve confidence in cell counting and viability measurements.
During the summer of 2017, Azhar also participated in the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) at Howard University School of Dentistry, to better prepare himself as a dental school applicant.
His interest in dentistry started when he had his first dental visit at the age of 19. After learning that Americans regularly visit the dentist and the importance of oral health and the lack of education around it in Uyghur communities, he knew he wanted to pursue dentistry. His goal is to successfully finish dental school and become a dental practitioner to help people in need and improve their oral and overall health. His biggest motivation is his mother, who has supported him throughout his path to dental school.
Azhar had a very successful application cycle, and was invited to interview at four dental schools. If any Uyghur youth are considering applying to dental school, he is happy to offer help and guidance!
Good luck in your studies, Azhar!