Dr. Kiran C. Patel

Meet Luiza Serrano

When Luiza Palmieri Serrano was in the third grade, she and her family moved from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Rochester, Minnesota. The transition wasn’t easy.

Her parents, both doctors in Brazil, who inspired her to become a doctor, re-did their residencies at The Mayo Clinic to practice in the U.S. Serrano didn’t know a word of English but that quickly changed.


Finding Her Path

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Within one year, she learned to speak English. By the end of fifth grade, she was earning above average grades in school.

“I was a nerdy kid and always reading books,” says Serrano. “I’m also very determined.”

Her determination along with support from mentors and her parents built a strong foundation for her acceptance into Nova Southeastern University’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine (NSU MD).


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Luiza Palmieri Serrano headshot with MD white coat uniform
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NSU is a very welcoming place to learn. The faculty and my classmates are supportive, not competitive, with each other. They want you to succeed.

Luiza Palmieri Serrano | NSU MD M2



Opportunities and Competitive Research Programs

In her second year of medical school, Serrano got accepted into the Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) program, a competitive and prestigious National Institutes of Health research initiative.

For four weeks, she worked at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD researching how to improve care for patients over 65 years old who may have delirium.


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I talked to patients directly and evaluated their hearing and vision and how these impairments may correlate to confusion,” says Serrano, who will present her research at the NSU RISE conference in September and at the American Geriatrics Society meeting in May 2024. “I love talking to the patients. As a researcher, patients open up to you.

Luiza Palmieri Serrano | NSU MD M2


NSU MD—A Curriculum That Inspires Excellence


The value of research goes well beyond the project itself, she says.

“Working on research projects develops a different set of critical thinking skills. It helps me understand the research process that is important for doctors to validate studies on medications and treatments.”

Serrano credits the supportive environment and small class sizes for helping her reach her potential.

“NSU faculty know who I am, which meant that they could guide me on a path that was right for me.
This school exceeds my expectations.”