Karen was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. As a high school junior in 2014, she moved to Washington state to live with an American family as an exchange student. She finished high school in New York, then began her premed journey at Santa Clara University, where she focused on neuroscience research, volunteering, and student teaching and advising through classes and pre-health organizations. In 2020, Karen graduated with a bachelor's degree in Neuroscience, and minors in Public Health Science and Biology. During her two gap years, she worked as a cord blood coordinator at Stanford Center for Definitive and Curative Medicine, and as a volunteer counselor for the Santa Clara Suicide and Crisis Services. She is now a MS1 at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Karen is passionate about advancing science and advocacy in medicine, increasing mental health awareness and reproductive justice, and supporting other students through mentorship. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, shuffle dancing, music festivals and yoga.