Ayesha Khan, Ph.D.
Ayesha Khan, Ph.D., is a Clinical Microbiologist, Infectious Diseases scientist, grassroots organizer, writer, artist and abolitionist educator bridging science and medicine with social justice and geopolitics. Dr. Khan served on the steering committees of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (2020-2022) and National Students for Justice in Palestine (2015-2020). She also served as a lead organizer with BDS Houston, founder of March for Science Houston, Project Director of the Incarcerated Youth Tutorial Project and as External Affairs Director on the board of SJP at UCLA, co-organizing a 4-year campaign to successfully pass a divestment resolution and has since worked with and trained Palestine solidarity campus organizers worldwide. As a grassroots trainer, Ayesha focuses on connecting the dots between the movement for Palestine and global anti-capitalist, anti-colonial movements.
Dr. Khan is building the foundations of a novel field of study- Abolitionist Science, which aims to, i) decode the science of collectivism, neurodiversity and trauma, ii) use evidence-based science to drive anti-capitalist, anti-colonial global movement strategy and, iii) shape daily praxis for community building (i.e. the apply political theory in our daily life and relationships). Her activism focuses on Palestinian liberation, prison & police abolition, dismantling internalized capitalism, decolonizing medicine, neurodiversity, South Asian minority rights, immigrant or migrant worker rights. A glimpse of her art activism and education is on instagram @wokescientist, the Cosmic Anarchy newsletter on substack, her podcast Disorderland and on her website.
Ayesha is a Siddi (Afro-Indian), Queer, immigrant born in Bangalore, India, and grew up in the diaspora without a stable home in several countries from Russia to Saudi Arabia, spending most of her childhood in the Middle East. She received her Bachelor’s in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, and Global Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2015 and her Ph.D. in Infectious Diseases from the University of Texas Health Science Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2020. Dr. Khan is currently a visiting faculty in infectious diseases at the Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile. Her medical research focuses on the development of infectious diseases diagnostics and novel treatment strategies to combat antibiotic resistant superbugs in low-resource settings.