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Mentor Update

MiOra Mentor Idriss Fassassi was at the Orthopedic High School Los Angeles

MiOra Mentor Idriss Fassassi was raised in the suburbs of Washington DC and he is currently an Epidemiologist at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. He works with a team of health professionals that prevent outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases. He holds his Masters in Public Health from New York Medical College, and his Bachelor’s degree in Biobehavioral Health from Penn State University. Mr. Fassassi has recently mentored the students at the Health Messaging Showcase event organized by Orthopedic High School teachers (LAUSD) and Brian Boyle from LA Chamber of Commerce-Unite LA program.  Thank you all!

MiOra Mentor Raquel Vazquez PA-C Guiding Students

MiOra mentor, Certified Physician Assistant with Ear Nose Throat Specialization, Raquel Vasquez PA-C from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center visited Kid City and gave career guidance to promising high school students Diana Balbuena (junior) and Roxana Flores (senior) from Orthopaedic Medical Magnet HS. The students learned about the educational requirements, salary and the life style of physician assistants. Thank you Ms. Vasquez! Keep up the good work students!  Kid city is a community where kids and young adults develop leadership and agency skills, and intellectual curiosity, they are encouraged to be their best and pursue their dreams. Kid city offers leadership, culture and arts, college access, and completion programs.  (

Joi Bryant’s Interview with Dr. Gul Bahtiyar

Joi Bryant, a junior @pre-med MiOra mentee from Tulane University @TulaneU, interviewed her mentor, Endocrinologist Dr. Gul Bahtiyar, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center @NYULangone. Joi is passionate about caring for patients with @diabetes. Dr. Bahtiyar gave Joi guidance on the educational path, life style and career options for an endocrinologist.  Joi B:  Can you describe your profession as an Endocrinologist / a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center? Dr. Bahtiyar: As an Endocrinologist, I focus on the endocrine system and specifically place emphasis on heart disease, the kidneys, genetics, obesity, and diabetes. It is a great lifestyle,  requires a lot of thinking and intellectual skills. There is a l...[Read More]

MiOra Mentee Jordan Kondo is Now Connected w/ Dr. Arlan Richardson

MiOra is excited to report that Professor Dr Arlan Richardon @OUHSC and Jordan Kondo @USC are now connected. Dr Richardson, the Founding Director of the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and Professor of Geriatric Medicine and the Donald W. Reynolds Endowed Chair of Aging Research at OUHSC #OUHSC and Senior VA Career Scientist at the OKC Veterans Affair Medical Center kindly agreed to guide Jordan Kondo, a senior undergraduate student from University of Southern California @USC with Human Biology major. Jordan is passionate about becoming a medical doctor and working on aging and nutrition. Dr Arlan Richardson earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Oklahoma State University and for the past 40 years, he has devo...[Read More]

NEW MENTEE & MENTOR: Sergio G. and Dr. Annie Wong-Beringer

MiOra has a new Mentee, Sergio G, from Compton High School, who is passionate about a career in Pharmacy, and a new mentor who will guide him, Dr Annie Wong-Beringer, Pharm.D., FCCP, FIDSA who is the Associate Dean of Graduate Affairs and Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs, Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, Titus Family Department of Clinical PharmacyAnti-Infective Pharmacology Research at University of Southern California. Welcome to both!

NEW MENTOR: Dr. Bill Remak

Bill Remak, the CEO of California Hepatitis C Task Force and the Chairman of the National Association of Hepatitis Task Forces, is the newest MiOra mentor ( Mr Remak is looking forward to mentoring young people who aspire to enter the health sciences arena. He reiterates the need to build capacity in delivering new innovations in biotech, HIT, regenerative medicine, pharmacology, life sciences, healthcare and patient advocacy and emphasizes that this will not happen without engaging our youth and empowering them to develop a vision that exceeds our current boundaries. Welcome, Mr. Remak!

NEW MENTOR: Dr. Serap Sobnosky

MiOra nonprofit (  welcomes Dr. Serap Sobnosky, an Interventional Cardiologist from Dignity Health at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Long Beach, CA, as a new MiOra mentor. Originally from Turkey, Dr Sobnosky completed Cardiology fellowship training at the Ludwig Maximal University, Munich Germany where she did gene therapy research and at the Sunset Kaiser Permanente, USA, where she also did Interventional Cardiology training. Dr. Sobnosky is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology and she is the Program Director of the Women and Heart Center at St. Mary’s Hospital in Long Beach, CA. Poetry, chess, swimming, hiking and dancing are among her other passions. Welcome Dr Sobnosky!

CPR in the Schools Program

MiOra ( founder Dr. Ozlem Equils volunteered for the American Heart Association (AHA) CPR in the Schools Program at Santa Barbara High School. Congratulations to the students who are the new life savers, and thank you to their teacher Ms. Sunnie Robertson for giving the opportunity to her students to learn CPR and hear about the path to a career in STEM and healthcare.

Dr. Steven Witkin

MiOra nonprofit foundation ( is thankful to Dr. Steven Witkin, PhD,  William J. Ledger Distinguished Professor of Infection and Immunology in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill #Cornell Medicine ( for his support of young scientists. Dr Witkin received his Bachelor’s Degree at Hunter College, and PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles (#UCLA). Dr. Witkin is conducting cutting edge research to understand the impact of immunological, infectious and genetic factors on pregnancy outcomes such as premature birth and newborn complications. MiOra #mentee Ozan Berk Imir will intern directly under Dr. Witkin over the summer. Please follow Dr. Witkin and Ozan’s exciting journey in science at

Dr. Chris da Costa

Dr. Chris da Costa, MD, MBA, Ph.D, is currently the Global Medical Director with Asahi Kasei Pharma American Corporation, a US-based subsidiary of a major Japanese pharmaceutical company developing novel therapies for organ transplantation and critical care patients with sepsis. Throughout his career, Dr. da Costa has taken on many leadership positions in various medical organizations – including Merck, GSK, Janssen, and Pfizer – and universities and received both the prestigious Beit Memorial Medical Research Fellowship, and the National Institutes of Health Visiting Fellowship Awards ( Inspired by his own mentors, Dr. Chr...[Read More]