Alec Calac(Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians) is an MD-PhD student at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. As the national president-elect of the Association of Native American Medical Students, he works at the local, state, and federal level, identifying barriers and facilitators to greater inclusion of Native Americans in medicine and the allied health professions. He also works collaboratively with the Global Health Policy and Data Institute on research projects that synthesize public health, global health, social media, and health technology. His research interests are in medical education and workforce development, vaccine hesitancy and misinformation spread, and social media utilization among Native youth.
Emmanuel Brito is a second-year student at UCR school of medicine currently pursuing a career in orthopedic surgery with a fellowship in sports medicine. Emmanuel’s passion for medicine and sports began in high school where he played varsity sports and underwent knee surgery that exposed him to the field of orthopedics. During his time at CSUSB, he published in the journal of molecular oncology for his ovarian cancer research that he was involved with at Loma Linda University through the CIRM Bridges program. He also currently participates in research stemming from quality improvement in health care practices regarding colon cancer screening, bioresorbable implants for femur and mandible fracture fixation, and clinical research in the field of orthopedics. Currently, Emmanuel enjoys spending his time with family, snowboarding, and going to the gym as he believes having a balanced life helps you be more efficient in your work life. He also enjoys mentoring, as he was part of the mentoring program at CSUSB and continues to do so through his time mentoring first year medical students and teaching courses in ultrasound, medical simulation labs, and leading the chapter of the Christian Medical-Dental association group at the UCR school of medicine.
Dr. Laura Newcomb obtained her B.S. from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee where she entered her first research laboratory through a work-study dishwashing position. That work led to a research position in a bacteriology laboratory. Dr. Newcomb went on to her Ph.D. thesis work at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she switched to the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae and regulation of RNA expression. Viruses were always of interest and during her graduate career Dr. Newcomb served as teaching assistant and guest lecturer for the upper division undergraduate/graduate Virology course. For postdoctoral studies Dr. Newcomb joined the laboratory of Dr. Robert Krug to explore the physiology of an important viral pathogen, influenza virus, with the aim to identify new ways to combat these pathogens. In 2007 Dr. Newcomb accepted a faculty position at California State University, San Bernardino where she has maintained an NIH funded molecular virology laboratory with undergraduate and master’s students. Dr. Newcomb is currently a Full Professor of Biology at CSUSB and co-coordinator of the graduate program. In her personal life, Dr. Newcomb has three grandkids and they occasionally share home science experiments on Professor Grandma’s Science Videos YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/ProfessorGrandmasScienceVideos