Henry Dwaah in front of Gottwald Science Center

Seizing opportunities to make a mark in medicine

Throughout his journey from Kumasi, Ghana, to the University of Richmond, biochemistry and molecular biology major Henry Dwaah maintained a singular objective — making his mark in medicine.

One of eight children and the first of his siblings to attend college, Dwaah always had his eye on the medical field. From the moment he arrived at Richmond, he immersed himself in STEM programs for students underrepresented in the sciences. He went on to secure a UR Summer Fellowship to work in the lab of a faculty mentor, sparking an interest in cancer research. Dwaah later researched cancer immunology at Columbia University and was invited to expand his knowledge of the field at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research as part of the Amgen Scholars Program. All of his experiences have refined in him a call to combat cancer.

I came in knowing what I wanted to do and I worked hard to explore other experiences that UR and the city of Richmond could provide to help me achieve that ambition of becoming a medical doctor or a research scientist.

—Henry Dwaah

To round out his experience beyond the classroom, Dwaah spent his spring breaks on service learning trips to Detroit and West Virginia, tutored children in underserved Richmond neighborhoods, studied local homelessness through a global health living-learning program, and worked for Camp Kesem, which supports children who have parents with cancer.

Dwaah, now a medical student at Tufts School of Medicine, plans to use his advanced studies to decide between furthering his cancer immunology research or treating patients with the disease as a doctor.


Henry Dwaah graduated from Richmond in 2019 with a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. As a student, he was a resident assistant in student housing, a member of the Embody dance team, and the vice president of the University of Richmond Emergency Medical Services first responder student organization.

Make a Connection
Help further the impact of Spiders
by joining our network.