Brenda, daughter of Salvadoran immigrant parents, was raised in South Gate, CA. Brenda attended Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School, where she was able to explore her passion for science. A first generation college student, Brenda attended Pomona College where held mentorship roles as a tutor for the Qualitative Skills Center, and participated in both the Pomona-Pitzer Women’s Varsity Swim and Water Polo teams, ultimately graduating with a B.A. in Biology. After college, she spent two years as a program analyst at the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland where she helped manage various research portfolios at the forefront of innovative genomic technologies, including the advent of the Precision Medicine Initiative. She also was part of the planning committee for the Genomics in Health Disparities Lecture series, a space to discuss how genomics can impact health disparities. Brenda’s passion for science and social justice led her to pursue a career in medicine, where she hopes to pursue a surgical specialty and help promote health equity across communities like her own. Brenda is part of the CDU/UCLA Medical Education Program, and is a Well-Being Co-Chair for the CDU Class of 2020. She is also part of the conference planning committee for the annual Minority Health Conference put together by CDU, UCLA, and USC. In her free time, she enjoys staying active by swimming, and doing CrossFit . She also loves trying going to coffee shops and bakeries in LA and enjoys spending quality time with family, and her two cats and three dogs.

Undergrad Institution: Pomona College

Hometown: South Gate, CA