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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Men’s soccer defender excels in bioethics field

Grana is a two-time Atlantic 10 All-Academic team member. PHOTO COURTESY OF SIDELINE PHOTOGRAPHY LLC

Senior defenseman David Grana epitomizes, and even exceeds, the label of student athlete. In January 2020, he was published in the “Internet Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics” on the ethics of uterine transplants.   

This will be Grana’s third professionally published piece as a biology major and senior research fellow with St. Joe’s institute of clinical bioethics. His other two studies were published in “The Internet Journal of Pediatrics and Neonatology” and the “Journal of Healthcare Ethics and Administration.” 

“I knew right away the clinical side really interested me because I could directly impact the lives of people, like when I published my paper on the Palliative and Hospice care program in Israel,” Grana said. “I could see a tangible, direct impact that this program is going to save lives. Being able to create a program and use that as such an amazing experience, that’s the kind of the research I want to pursue.”

Grana’s accomplishments on the pitch in his first three seasons at St. Joe’s are undoubtedly noteworthy. He is also a two-time Atlantic 10 All-Academic Team member and someone who St. Joe’s men’s soccer Head Coach Don D’Ambra said plays an important contribution to the men’s soccer program off the field.

“His biggest impact to our program has been creating a culture of expectation and accountability on how you conduct yourself in the classroom,” D’Ambra said.

For Grana, seeing all his investigative research build up to a published journal was rewarding, as well as getting to work with some of the top doctors and health care workers  involved within the field of uterine transplants.

“It definitely was an honor,” Grana said. “The research that we did investigating all these different journals, reaching out to Dr. Kathleen O’Neill, one of the key eyes on UPenn’s uterus transplant trials and really talking to the people that are actually doing this work, doing these surgeries and getting these organs.”

Specifically, with his latest publication on the ethics of uterine transplants, Grana said his research can offer women new options for the uterine factor within infertility which consist of women who develop without a uterus, women that that have a malfunctioning uterus or women that have a hysterectomy.

“It might be a minority, but when you extrapolate the numbers it’s a significant portion of the population that suffers from this and can ultimately benefit from this procedure,” Grana said.

Peter Clark, S.J., Ph.D., who has worked with Grana on all three publications, said Grana’s pioneering research could potentially have far reaching implications.

“‘The Ethics of Uterine Transplants’ will be instrumental in furthering transplant technology,” Clark said. “[Grana] is now working on a senior thesis on the Safe Injection site in Philadelphia, [and] this paper may even save lives.” 

According to D’Ambra, there is no doubt that we will continue to see hard work and dedication from Grana both on and off the field as he enters his senior season at St. Joe’s.

“He’s just an ideal student athlete, he takes everything seriously, he dedicates himself in all aspects of it,” D’Ambra said “An academic all-American and getting some of his research published is phenomenal.

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