Luisa Fernandez Chirino



luisa fernandez chirino copy

Luisa Fernández Chirino














St Cross and Oxford Population Health Shared DPhil Scholarship Package

Joining us from: Mexico City, Mexico ​​​​​​

DPhil in Clinical Medicine, 2023

Born and raised in Mexico City, I have always been deeply intrigued by the intricate workings of life. From my earliest days in elementary school, I found myself drawn to the mysteries of the medical sciences. As I delved into this world, my curiosity was fuelled by my love for reading, particularly science fiction and fantasy, which I believe honed my creative thinking and problem-solving skills for my research journey. I then attended Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), where I pursued both my undergraduate and master's degrees. Although my initial dream was to become a medical doctor, my need to know how things work led me down a different path. I soon realized that my broad knowledge base, acquired through my Bachelor's degree in Biological Pharmaceutical Chemistry, provided the perfect foundation for a strong career as a research. During my undergraduate years, I discovered my affinity for statistics and its potential to bridge the gap between petri dish science and population-based conclusions, thus making science applicable at a bigger scale, and potentially benefiting many people. This realization drove me to specialize in statistics, allowing me to translate complex scientific findings into meaningful insights. My professional journey led me to the National Institute of Geriatrics in Mexico, where I made significant contributions to the field, amassing approximately 20 peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals and even co-authoring a book chapter. During this stage, we also focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, and the effect that it had on a sociodemographic level, hinting towards the importance of multidisciplinary study and the need to bring together diverse fields in order to actually capture a complex phenomenon as is disease transmission. I furthered my academic pursuits with a Master's degree in Applied Statistics, culminating in a dissertation that covered a statistical perception of causality when working with transversal data. I employed structural equation modelling to demonstrate the causal role of adipose tissue distribution in cardiometabolic aging. Now, I’m in the Nuffield Department of Population Health starting some work mapping the genetic structure of Chronic Kidney Disease in Mexican population, hoping that with my findings, we can clarify some unknowns in the aetiology of the disease and help towards the increasing public health burden of this disease.

Beyond my academic and research endeavours, I have a passion for high-performance sports, having dedicated over 15 years to competitive athletics. As a gymnast for 5 years and an elite-level rower for a decade, I proudly represented the Mexican national team in World Championships and international regattas, demonstrating my commitment and dedication. Now, I am have joined the college team and hope I can bring in all of my experience!

When I'm not immersed in the world of academia and athletics, I find joy in the imaginative realm of table top gaming and the intricate narratives of Dungeons and Dragons. These hobbies not only provide an escape but also nourish my creative spirit.

St Cross College has been an incredibly welcoming community that is allowing me to pursue my dream of making an evidence-based change at a population level, and to acquire the tools to be able to guide policies and decision-making at a large scale. This scholarship means that I can take my love for science and answering questions and make it tangible through a DPhil. Without this scholarship, coming to Oxford would not have been at all possible.

In summary, my life's journey has been a diverse and exciting one, with a deep-seated passion for understanding the intricacies of science, a commitment to research, a dedication to high-performance athletics, and a penchant for storytelling and imagination. I look forward to the exciting adventures that lie ahead while here at Oxford.