Kristel’s interest in medicine began as a child when her father's rare genetic disease caused blindness. His diagnosis of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) ignited her passion for understanding the unseen world, how small life forms impact our daily lives. At UC Berkeley’s Herbert Wertheim’s School of Optometry and Vision Science Kristel is able to work at the Puthussery & Taylor Lab where she is a research assistant on leading therapeutics for RP.
As a senior she helps run the Outreach Taskforce, an umbrella under UC Berkeley’s Suitcase Clinic that provides resources for people experiencing homelessness. Kristel is an educator on harm reduction and administering Naloxone, an opioid antagonist that reverses the effects of an overdose. Naloxone, like many prescriptions, has an overwhelming cost of $130. During the COVID19 pandemic 3X more people died of fentanyl related overdose in San Francisco than respiratory related illnesses. Kristel is able to provide free Naloxone to people experiencing homelessness, as well as how to reduce harm while using.
Majoring in Microbial Biology with an emphasis in Host Pathogen Interactions, Kristel is preparing for a future as a MD/PhD. The COVID19 pandemic helped her recognize that public policy is essential to preventing global health tragedies. Kristel aims to use her expertise in health, research, advocacy, and infectious disease to make sustainable change in health care policy.
Kristel believes that accessibility within our communities is best received through equity and inclusion, values she incorporates in her work as an educator and student. Kristel is excited to offer her support and values to The Mastui Center and IGS, growing more prepared to advocate and uplift a healthier future for all.
Major(s): Micriobial Biology
Minor(s): Public Policy