Pursuing a PhD at Harvard University

Caroline Comenho

I am originally from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, but then moved to Dubai at the age of 8 and lived there for 10 years. I attended DAA from 3rd grade - 12th grade which was 2006-2016. I completed my undergraduate at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where I majored in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and minored in Bioinformatics. In the fall of 2020, I started my PhD in Systems, Synthetic, and Quantitative Biology at Harvard University.   

DAA has greatly shaped the person that I am today. Throughout my 10 years at the school, I was exposed to such a diverse, accepting and supportive community that helped me grow as a person and as a scientist. Teachers such as Sharon Munn, Derarca Lynch, Silvia Codita, Padraig Downey and Tim Tshumperlin made me feel comfortable asking endless questions in class and being creative when exploring academic subjects. 

What’s next?

A PhD in my field is expected to be six years long, so I will be conducting research at Harvard until then. After that, I plan to work in Biotechnology developing tools for DNA sequencing or other genomic studies.


  • Published in 1 research paper, 2 others submitted.
  •  ABRCMS Award for Poster Presentation in Systems Biology
  • UCLA Dean’s Prize for Excellence in Science at the Research Showcase
  • UCLA MCDB Senior Undergraduate Research Award,
  • UCLA College Honors and Highest Departmental Honors Awarded With Bachelor Degree
  • In DAA: Most Outstanding Student in IB Biology SL, IB Psychology SL, IB Spanish SL

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