Cyrena Gawuga is a Ph.D. candidate in the Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology
Program at Brown University. Her research focuses on the interaction between
psychological stress and the neuroimmune system, influenced in part by her experiences
living with lupus and bipolar disorder. Navigating the health care system as a fulltime
student prompted her interest in patient empowerment. Cyrena is an advocate for
improved treatment of mental illness in autoimmune disease patients, and support for
chronically ill students in higher education.