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GSEC Executive Co-Director
Pia is a Cell Biology PhD candidate at Duke University studying glial mitochondrial dynamics in brain development in the laboratory of Dr. Cagla Eroglu. Born in Bolivia to Peruvian parents, Pia grew up undocumented in the US learned the critical importance of mentorship for people like her to access and succeed in STEM. She earned a full scholarship to UNC-Chapel Hill despite her undocumented status, which allowed her to pursue her bachelor's degree in biology. During her time at UNC, Pia became a leader in undocumented student advocacy and policy reform, an issue she is still passionate about today. After undergrad, Pia joined the Regenerative Medicine Lab at United Therapeutics in NC, where she was one of the lead researchers to develop a stem cell-based therapy for chronic lung disease. At Duke, Pia is a 2020 PD Soros Fellow, a BioCoRE Scholar, and Co-Chair of Duke's Cell Biology Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Through these efforts and beyond, Pia remains committed to diversifying academic spaces while empowering and mentoring marginalized STEM trainees.