Andre was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to parents of Jewish-European descent. In 2005, when Andre was fifteen, his family moved to Miami in search of financial stability and better educational and professional opportunities. Once in the United States, Andre’s parents had trouble convincing potential employers of the value of their Brazilian college degrees, and Andre had trouble earning high school credits for classes he had already taken in Brazil.
Quickly overcoming institutional, cultural and language barriers, Andre excelled in school and was awarded a QuestBridge scholarship to attend Yale University. Combining his interests in natural sciences and technology, he majored in biomedical engineering and spent his summers conducting research in micro-tissue engineering and cancer biology. In addition to pursuing biomedical research, Andre directed an award-winning undergraduate a cappella group and was on the board of Yale’s Relay for Life team.
During Andre’s college years, he helped take care of his father in a battle against cancer, a life-changing experience that drew him close to medicine. He was inspired to volunteer at Haven Free Clinic, where he learned about patient care and decided to become a physician.
Now a first-year student in the joint Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program, Andre is pursuing an MD with an added focus on biomedical research. He hopes to work at the intersection of engineering and surgery, developing new tools and techniques to improve the field of reconstructive surgery.