Brena Figueiredo Sena , M.P.H.

Research Assistant

Photograph of: Brena Sena MPH Research Assistant.
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  • Education
    • Master of Public Health, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health
    • Bachelor of Science in Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Brena Sena is a research assistant for the HRSA-funded Dissemination and Evaluation Center (DEC), aimed at adapting, replicating, and evaluating four interventions addressing linkage and retention in HIV primary care.

Brena graduated from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City in May 2014 with an MPH focused on sociomedical sciences and global health. During her undergraduate studies, she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a pre-medical concentration, and a Bachelor of Arts in Portuguese, with a minor in Latin American studies.

When Brena was 12 years old, she moved with her family from the northeastern city of Recife in Brazil to Boston, Massachusetts. Brena became increasingly interested in the effects of disparities in health services and access, and of poverty on health. Her master’s thesis was centered on a health systems analysis of the implementation of maternal health initiatives within the Brazilian public health system. Most recently, she worked as a Knowledge and Dissemination Officer for a study evaluating mental health stigma in primary care in Chile, and obtained a diploma from MIT’s J-PAL on impact evaluations of programs and public policy.

Brena has previously held posts as Clinical researcher, Lab technician, and Research assistant in the U.S., Brazil and Chile. She hopes to continue learning where she can be most useful in bridging gaps in public health, medicine, health policy, and research.

Moment of Pride

Participated as a Technical Assistant at a workshop on the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil, writing a publication for MIT’s magazine Undark.

Fast Fact

Brena loves to read books out loud.