Department: Human Genetics

Lab: Karen Reue

Dr. Mendoza, a member of the indigenous Benzaa (Zapotec) tribe from central Oaxaca, Mexico, moved to the US at the age of 9. Growing up in an impoverished Zapotec community in Southern California, he witnessed the challenges faced by indigenous minorities, particularly in health and education. Motivated by these experiences, he chose a research path in metabolism to tackle health issues, especially obesity-related problems, prevalent among minority populations, including indigenous communities.

He completed his B.S. in Chemistry & Biochemistry at California State University - Long Beach and earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Metabolism & Nutrition from The University of Chicago. Currently, he works in the Reue lab, utilizing the Four-Core Genotype model to explore metabolic mechanisms linked to obesity co-morbidities. His aspiration is to secure a faculty position where he can contribute significantly to the field and mentor the next generation of scientists, especially those from underrepresented, first-generation, and low-income backgrounds. In his free time, he actively engages with his community, preserving the art of Zapotec rugs.