FIU Honors College Alumna takes on cancer disparities among Latinas

David Melendez Feature, Spotlight

Honors College Alumna Dariana Sedeno-Delgado has made strides in cancer research since graduating from FIU in 2020 with a B.A. in Psychology. After she and her loved ones had disappointing experiences with healthcare in the U.S., Sedeno-Delgado made it her goal to “reinvent the way that healthcare is done, and bring it back to its original purpose of selfless devotion towards curing people in need”. 

Sedeno-Delgado transitioned to Washington D.C. where she began working as a Research specialist at the Cancer Prevention and Control Program and the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. She works alongside fellow Latina researchers and other teams that focus on Latinx and Black populations.  

“My passion for research came to me unexpectedly, through the work I get to do every single day,” she says, “I realized that the merging of both research, and medicine, was the answer I was looking for because you could study the problems in our community and develop real solutions.” 

 Her team is currently working on projects surrounding hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC). Through partnerships with community-based organizations, Sedeno-Delgado has been helping with the identification of Latinas who are at risk for HBOC. Other resources the research has provided include education about HBOC and genetic counseling services, provided for free due to the lack of knowledge and inaccessibility among the Latino community. 

Sedeno-Delgado credits FIU and the Honors College with helping her become a more competitive candidate for medical school. She was a member of the Honor College’s Pre-Health Club and a research assistant for the ABV Neuroscience Lab. In addition to her on-campus involvements, Sedeno-Delgado also volunteered at St. Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and interned for three years as a registered behavioral technician to provide behavioral therapy for children with autism. 

“I believe FIU helped prepare me for my future in research through its inclusive learning environment, incredible opportunities, and dedication to serving the community,” Sedeno-Delgado notes. 

Sedeno-Delgado will be continuing her graduate studies at Georgetown University, where she will be completing an M.S. degree in Clinical and Translational Research with a focus on Health Disparities and Community Engagement. After completing her degree, she hopes to immediately transition to medical school in order to pursue a PhD and continue working in medical research.