Petra Elias

2011 Deputy Director

Petra Elias is a fourth-year undergraduate studying biochemistry at UCLA. She is serving as deputy director for the university’s InnoWorks chapter.

During high school, Petra was a part of the International Baccalaureate program and received the full diploma. She was also a member of the yearbook staff, holding several editorial positions as copy editor, index editor, arts section editor, and portrait section editor. She graduated as valedictorian of her senior class.

Petra completed two years of her undergraduate education at Thurgood Marshall College at UCSD before transferring to UCLA. Being at Marshall encouraged her to be proactive in her community as a single-variable calculus tutor at Preuss, the UCSD-affiliated charter school for students who qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches. The opportunity to serve as a mentor for these students was one of Petra’s most rewarding experiences and has motivated her tremendously to be involved with InnoWorks.

On-campus at UCLA, Petra is involved with two major extracurriculars in addition to InnoWorks. As one of 26 members of the Student Stroke Team, she interviews any patient who comes to the UCLA emergency room exhibiting symptoms of stroke and reports the patient’s condition to the on-call neurologist. As an undergraduate research scholar, Petra studies XMRV, a newly discovered and controversial gammaretrovirus, in Dr. Sam Chow’s molecular and medical pharmacology lab. Her research experience at both UCLA and UCSD facilitated her acceptance as a summer intern at the biopharmaceutical company Amgen Inc. in their Metabolic Disorders Research and Development unit.

Off-campus, Petra coaches Special Olympics athletes in both basketball and volleyball. She enjoys reading, playing the piano and violin, and traveling to Lebanon.


InnoWorks is a Winner of the 2007 BRICK Awards