Mariana Giron, MS1

Hometown: Originally from Colombia, but her family lives in Kansas

Undergrad: Cornell University ‘10                                                 

Major: Anthropology, global health minor

Post-grad: spent a year conducting disability policy research at the National Institutes of Health.

Activities and Interest: currently one of the coordinators at Puentes de Salud. Interested in community health, preventive care, and health disparities research. Aside from studying, she enjoys running, traveling, dancing, going out to eat and exploring Philly!

Leonel Oliveros-Rosen, MS1

Hometown: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Undergrad and Major: Haverford College ‘10, Philosophy                                                 

Post-grad:  I took a year before med school to work at the Penn Memory Center, where I gained valuable experience while working with patients who suffered from various neurodegenerative and dementing illness.

Activities and Interest: My interest in medicine revolve around the delivery of high quality health care to under-served communities and the promotion of preventative care. Being involved with LMSA offers me a great way to collaborate with other medical students that care about the Latino community and their health needs. I am also very involved with Puentes de Salud, which offers me a very personal and meaningful medium to remain connected with the Latino community in South Philadelphia.

Samantha Lee, MS1

Hometown: Queens, NY

Undergrad and Major: University of Pennsylvania ’09, Materials Science & Engineering

Post-grad: After graduation, I worked as a medical assistant in a private practice for 15 months, and later, as a research engineer at an orthopedic hospital for 9 months.

Activities and Interests: I enjoy cooking elaborate meals, checking out the Philly restaurant scene, and reading novels.

Melody Esmaeili-Ghahfarokhi, MS1

Hometown: Laguna Hills, CA

Undergrad and Major: UC Berkeley, Art History '09

Post-grad: worked in the lab of Morrie Birnbaum, M.D., PhD.

Activities and Interests: developmental and regenerative biology.

Robert Bonacci, MS1

Hometown: Akron, OH

Undergrad and Major: The Ohio State University, Microbiology, Spanish

Post-grad: Took a research fellowship year out to conduct TB and tobacco research at the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.

Activities and Interests: Coordinator at Puentes de Salud, LMSA, Physician Advocacy and Social Medicine, Penn Language Link. Medical areas of interest include infectious diseases, global health, and healthcare for underserved and immigrant populations (especially Latinos).

David Blitzer, MS1

Hometown: Haworth, NJ

Undergrad and Major: The College of William and Mary ‘11, Kinesiology and Health Sciences

Post-grad: N/A

Activities and Interests:  Cardiology Interest Group, Sports Medicine Interest Group, Perelman Triathlon Club , Penn language link, American Medical Student Association, Penn Med ultrasound, Perelman Maimonides

Tomás Díaz, MS1

Hometown: New Milford, NJ

Undergrad and Major: Columbia University ‘10, Environmental Biology

Post-grad: I spent a year working at an NYC think tank focused on globalization, development economics, and poverty and inequality.

Activities and Interests: My interests lie in community health, urban health, and healthcare disparities. I am involved with Puentes de Salud as well as a number of recruitment efforts at Penn Med. I also enjoy running, cooking, and reading (...when I can find the time).

Lucas Bonafede

Hometown: Rafaela, Argentina

Undergrad and Major: Cornell ‘11, Biology


Activities and Interests: I have many varied interests regarding medicine. Outside of school, I love to play sports, mostly soccer and basketball, cook, eat, and have fun.


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