Our Team at Medi-Futures erau

Student director

Takara O’Brien

Takara O’Brien is a dedicated and ambitious third-year undergraduate student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, majoring in Aerospace Physiology with minors in Chemistry, Human Factors, Psychology, and Latin American Studies in Language and Culture. With a strong passion for medicine, she aspires to become a medical doctor and aims to earn an M.D./Ph.D. to continue conducting research in her fields of interest. Takara has contributed to diverse research projects, such as studying the Effects of Simulated Atmospheres on the Growth and Persistence of Microbial Space Isolates, Observing the Pathogenic Affinity of Candida and Rhodotorula under Simulated Moon and Martian Atmospheres, Utilizing Neural Networks to Assist in the Assessment and Predictive Measurement of Developmental Hip Dysplasia Radiographs, and Characterizing Macrophage Populations in the Lung Following Exposure to the Spaceflight Environment. These research endeavors have allowed her to explore the intersection of medicine, physiology, and space, fueling her commitment to advancing knowledge in these fields. Takara volunteers her time at Halifax Hospital as an aid for nurses and patients. She also tutors at local elementary schools. Additionally, as the president of the Biomedical Engineering Society club at Embry-Riddle, she advocates for the interdisciplinary connection between human physiology and engineering, promoting a holistic and innovative approach to medical advancements. Takara looks forward to the next phase in her pre-medicine journey at Advent Health Hospital for clinical rotations this Fall. In her leisure time, she enjoys literature, indulging in both fantasy and nonfiction novels, finds relaxation in personal fitness, crochet, and online gaming. She adores companionship with her animals and actively participates in Schutzhund training with her German Shepard, Griffin, and caring for her two rescue cats, Carbon-6 and Starbuck-BSG.


faculty director

Alesha Fleming, DC

Dr. Alesha Fleming is an Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Physiology, as well as the Program Coordinator of the Bachelor of Science degree program in Aerospace Physiology at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Dr. Fleming attended Mercer University in Macon, GA where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in German. After graduation, she moved to Port Orange, Florida where she earned her Doctorate Degree in Chiropractic Medicine at Palmer College of Chiropractic. Dr. Fleming opened her private practice, Natural Health and Wellness Chiropractic in 2015, and began her teaching career at Embry-Riddle in 2017, where she teaches several courses including Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Behavior Neuroscience. Dr. Fleming has also designed and taught continuing education courses for the AAMA, and worked as an Adjunct Professor for Palmer College of Chiropractic, training Chiropractic Student Interns who have complete their final Trimester of Chiropractic education at her office. She is also the Team Chiropractic Physician for Embry-Riddle Athletics where she works with a team of doctors and athletic trainers to manage the care of student athletes. Dr. Fleming is currently working on her Diplomate in Neurology to become a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist. She lives in Daytona Beach with her husband and their Rhodesian Ridgeback, Athena and Doberman, Zoe. In her free time, she enjoys reading, riding her motorcycle, and stand-up paddle boarding.



Madison Church

Madison Church is a third-year undergraduate majoring in Aerospace Physiology major and minoring in chemistry and human factors. She is on the human physiology track and plans on attending physician assistant school or medical school when graduating college. Madison has experience shadowing nurses, physical therapists and doctors at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center. She had also worked as a Medical Assistant at a family medical clinic in Daytona Beach. Madison has been pursuing medicine since she joined a pre-medical academy in middle school and another in high school. She can’t imagine a career outside the medical community. By being a part of Medi-Futures Madison wants to expand the opportunity for pre-med students at her school to gain clinical hours and important insight about the medical field. Madison cares a lot about her community and participates in philanthropy opportunities within Greek life. Madison loves the outdoors and can be found at the beach, on a hike or reading.

Madison Church

outreach chair

Maria Tobarra Meruelo

Maria Tobarra Meruelo is a third-year undergraduate student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, majoring in Aerospace Physiology and minoring in Chemistry, Psychology and Human Factors. She is from Madrid, Spain and plans to pursue a career in Medicine, specializing in Aerospace medicine. She has participated in numerous research projects such as Military Fighter Pilot Cortisol Analysis, or Bacterial Autoinducer Analysis when exposed to microgravity. Therefore, she hopes to also keep her involvement in the research field. She also wants to give back to her community. That is why she volunteers every summer at the Spanish Red Cross, helping the elderly and children with health and sanitary issues. She is also a part of the Emergency Response Team at Embry-Riddle, so that she can continue helping others while in school as well. Maria enjoys reading, the creative arts, going on long hikes with her family and reading about rare psychological disorders.


our student Ambassadors


Brianna Magdaleno

Brianna Magdaleno is a third-year undergraduate student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University majoring in Aerospace Physiology and minoring in Human Factors. She is from Carolina, Puerto Rico, and plans to specialize in aerospace medicine, with hopes for involvement in clinical research. Brianna enjoys fitness, traveling, dancing, and discovering new places. She is particularly passionate about researching cortisol and melatonin, as she wishes to continue other projects. At ERAU, Brianna is involved in the Student Engagement & Research Communication Program, an organization that provides first-generation students mentorship and guidance during their years in college. She’s also involved in the Puerto Rican Student Association as Director of Public Relations and works as a dispatcher in the Campus Safety office. She also loves going to the beach and amusement parks!