Ernesto was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras but grew up in Los Angeles most of his life. He is the first in his family to attend college, and has always been committed to learning about science and health. Ernesto chose to study molecular cell and developmental biology at UCLA with a minor in biomedical research. He graduated with all the honors available to seniors at UCLA: Latin Honors (Magna Cum Laude), College Honors in Letters and Sciences, and Highest Departmental Honors. He was a UCLA BruinLife Senior of the Year and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society. Ernesto has published extensively on germ cell biology with papers in Stem Cell Research and Nature Communications. He is now an MD/PhD candidate at UCSF where he is working on continuing to study reproductive medicine and developmental biology.
Ernesto has a strong belief that it is his duty to help students who are interested in medicine and/or science achieve their goals, in part because he had so many mentors who invested in him. At UCLA, Ernesto was selected to be a tutor for Division 1 athletes, a very desired position at UCLA given the importance of the school’s athletes succeed on the field and in the classroom. As a UCLA athletics tutor, Ernesto learned to craft lessons specifically for each student’s learning style and knowledge, regardless of their prerequisite knowledge. For the MCAT, Ernesto created a study plan for himself that worked around his schedule as a full-time researcher during the summer. His strategy placed him in the top 0.4% of test takers, and he is passionate about sharing his experience and insights with his own MCAT students. More recently, Ernesto has served on the Admissions Committee at UCSF as an interviewer.
At school, Ernesto is well-known for his high energy and infectious smile. Outside of his studies and tutoring, Ernesto enjoys writing Op-Eds and working as an activist to increase diversity in science and medicine. Ernesto loves dancing, cycling, and meeting new people. Fun fact: he’s been on the Price is Right and WON! You should ask him about it.