Lab is operated by Dr. Andrea Hevener, also a Monache graduate

Two 2021 UCLA graduates — 2017 Monache High graduate Brayden Leyva and 2017 Porterville High graduate Lorna Mendoza — are excelling in recent accomplishments as they pursue graduate degrees while conducting their thesis research. Leyva’s research deals with neurological disorders, and Mendoza with kidney function. And both, are conducting their research in the UCLA laboratory of a 1986 Monache High graduate, Andrea L. Hevener, PhD.

Leyva and Mendoza both excelled and shined at their respective high schools but the two Porterville standouts didn't know each other and had never met until both became involved with the Central Valley Project (CVP) at UCLA, a student-run organization that assists high school students from the Central Valley in the pursuit of higher education.

In the past, Leyva and Mendoza collaborated on several projects, including studying the genetic architecture of exercise training to identify critical genetic loci that regulate molecular adaptations conferring the metabolic health benefits of daily activity, and analyzed the role of the estrogen receptor alpha in the regulation of mitochondrial function and metabolic health. Their current projects are completely independent of one another.

Brayden and I did meet at UCLA for the first time,” Mendoza said. “We never knew each other before even though we were both from Porterville.”

Their current projects are completely independent of one another, Leyva said.

We just work in the same research laboratory,” Leyva said.

Recommended for you

Load comments