Class of 2021
Damai Vergara-Hegi joins the GHD program after four years of combined health research and sustainable development experience. Most recently, he worked as a Project Coordinator at Mosaic Laboratories working with a team dedicated to optimizing clinical trial services for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. His passion for development stems from his service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in northern Mozambique, where he demonstrated a commitment toward STEM education, community health, developmental policy, and youth services in a highly political conflict area within sub-Saharan Africa. His main projects included local government collaboration in promoting “hands-on” science education, management of a youth empowerment program focused on empowering adolescents through self-expression, esteem-building, and community health education, all while formally teaching mathematics and biology at the secondary school level.
Damai is a southern California native with family from Argentina. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and double minors in Mathematics and Neuroscience. While at UCLA, he worked in the Department of Medicine for a pulmonary oncology laboratory as a research assistant and in the pediatric ward at Mattel Children’s Hospital. He is fluent in Portuguese, proficient in Spanish, and rudimentary with his Swahili.