graphic featuring alejandro smiling

February Student of the Month: Alejandro Tapia

Alejandro is a fourth-year first-generation student double majoring in Global Disease Biology (GDB) and Psychology with a minor in Chicano/a Studies. Alejandro’s interest in medicine and public health led him to join Clinica Tepati, a UC Davis student-run primary care clinic that addresses the healthcare gap in the Latino community of the greater Sacramento area. Clinica Tepati’s three-part mission; healthcare, education, and advocacy resonates with Alejandro’s aspiration of becoming a physician to address the health disparities in his community.

Alejandro’s passion for public health led him to apply to the UC Davis Undergraduate Public Health Scholars (UPHS) summer research program. Alejandro’s mentor Dr. Kent Pinkerton guided him in his experimental research project on e-cigarettes allowing him to explore the public health branches of toxicology and pharmacology. Alejandro spent his summer running an in vivo experiment using mouse models to evaluate the lung health implications of vaping with 4th generation e-cigarettes. Alejandro’s interest in the vaping public health crisis motivated him to continue conducting research on e-cigarettes with Dr. Pinkerton at the Center for Health and the Environment for his practicum. Alejandro is thankful for having chosen the GDB major as it has provided him the support, knowledge, and guidance in conducting research and furthering his education. As Alejandro waits to hear back from Master of Public Health (MPH) programs, he’s applying to research positions for his gap year as he prepares to apply to medical school. 

Alejandro's research poster
Alejandro's research poster