Nikhil – Original Advocacy

Through MiOra, Nikhil Chakravarty, an 11th-grader at Granada Hills Charter High School in California, was connected with Dr. Vaithi Arumugaswami, an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, California. Nikhil regularly receives guidance on a genetics project he is working on, and he states it has been a rewarding experience. A hardworking student, Nikhil also participates in Speech and Debate at school, and has garnered a number of accolades, including placing first in Original Advocacy just this year. We will continue to follow Nikhil’s learnings and accomplishments.

Introducing Nikhil

Nikhil Chakravarty is a proactive and diligent 11th-grader at Granada Hills Charter High School in California, who has access to some of the most revolutionary, cutting-edge technology in the genetics field. This privilege is thanks in part to the MiOra mentoring program. MiOra is a non-profit organization that connects promising students with a mentor, an accomplished professional in his/her industry, and allows them to pursue a topic of study based on their strengths and interests.

Who Are We?

MiOra is a web-based mentoring program that connects high school and college students with accomplished mentors in the medical and STEM fields. Through the guidance of a mentor, students complete a real-world project, which helps them develop personal skills (EQ) as well as academic skills for college entry and completion. In addition, MiOra provides scholarship support for student projects. The mentor’s guided work helps the student use his/her time more efficiently to focus on his/her career passion. MiOra also closely tracks the student’s progress and shares it with the community. Welcome!

Ozan Berk Imir

Exciting news from Ozan Berk Imir, a fellow MiOra mentee… Ozan has recently been accepted for a summer internship at the laboratory of Dr. Steven S. Witkin, William J. Ledger Distinguished Professor of Infection and Immunology in Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Weill Cornell University ( At Dr. Witkin’s laboratory, Ozan will be working with internationally renowned scientists and learning cutting-edge women’s health research. We congratulate Ozan’s recent success. If you would like to follow Ozan’s story, and donate for projects of students like Ozan, please check out the non-profit foundation website (

MiOra is Partnering with UCLA Master of Applied Statistics (MAS) Program

UCLA’s Department of Statistics is one of the highest-ranked programs in the world. The department has a forward looking focus with foundations in both the mathematical and computational sciences. MiOra nonprofit foundation ( will work with UCLA MAS program students to solve real scientific questions.  Collaboration with UCLA MAS program provides MiOra direct conduit for interaction with the world-class faculty at UCLA. For more info about UCLA MAS, visit PARTNERS – UCLA Master of Applied Statistics.

Guidance For Prospective Medical Doctors

Dr. Iris Li ( answers the two most common questions from students interested in a career in medicine: “Why did you decide to become a medical doctor?” and “What is the daily life of a doctor like?”. Dr. Li answers that there are several core qualities that are essential to being a good doctor. The first is a passion for science and the second is a love for continuous learning. A physician treats the patients based on data and science, but Dr. Li quickly adds that there is an “art” element to practicing medicine, and that no patients are identical, even if their presenting complaints are the same. She gives an example of four children, each presenting with leg pain. They all have different diagnoses and need different treatments....Read More

Dr. Iris Li

Dr. Iris Li, a board-certified Pediatrician at the Good Samaritan and El-Camino-Los Gatos Hospitals in California (, is one of the newest MiOra mentors. She will provide guidance on what it takes to be a medical doctor on the MiOra platforms.  Dr. Li graduated from the top medical school in Shanghai, and before completing her residency at the White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles, she worked as a Neonatologist at Shanghai Children’s Hospital. Since 2008, she has been practicing Pediatrics in the San Francisco area and mentors high school and college students.  Fluent in English and Mandarin, Dr. Li is a mother, an outdoor adventurer, and hiker. Dr. Li enjoys reading science books and poetry, dancing, listening to music, and making gardens flouris...Read More

Nikhil – CIRM Spark Award and Speech Champion

We at MiOra nonprofit foundation are all about recognizing, nurturing, and celebrating student excellence. Recently, one of our mentees, Nikhil C., an 11th grader at Granada Hills Charter High School in California, received the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Spark Award (CIRM; This qualifies him for a summer research program where he will participate in stem cell research. Through MiOra, Nikhil has gained access to mentorship and resources which have helped him to excel in his academic life. He offers special thanks to MiOra and his mentor Dr. Vaithi Arumugaswami at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, CA for the guidance and the support. Furthermore, Nikhil has also recently attended the California High School Speech Association State Championships ( where ...Read More

Introducing Emma C.

Emma C. is a sophomore at The Buckley School in California and is the newest MiOra mentee ( She is passionate about a career as a medical doctor and in order to reach her goal she joined the Buckley Applied Science program where she is learning how to develop a scientific research project and critically read scientific journals. This year her Buckley Applied Science team received an honorable mention at the LA County Science Fair for their Ultimate Sustainable System, a self-sustaining aquaponics system. Emma is very interested in Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery. At MiOra, she started reviewing the medical literature on the advancements in Cardiothoracic Surgery. In her free time, Emma volunteers at the Hammer Museum where she supports their family programs, plays voll...Read More

Randall Cornateanu, M.D.

I think with any student, especially with me in high school, the student-mentor relationship is about cultivating passion. For example, I remember I would always try to think of cures for HIV and bring them up to my mentor, who actually ran through the ideas with me and explained the flaws — and most importantly, did not brush them off.

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