Fernando was born in Recife, Brazil, but grew up the majority of his life in Texas. He received a Bachelors of Arts degree in psychology with a minor in biology from the University of Texas at San Antonio. His undergraduate research, and undergraduate thesis, focused around using HPLC assays to quantify the metabolites of nicotine- cotinine (COT) and 3’-OH-cotinine (3HC). Using a ratio of 3HC to COT, his lab at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, under the supervision of Dr. Martin Javors, was able to distinguish a metabolic phenotype used in a smoking cessation program. He joined the Holford lab in 2010. Fernando is leaving the Holford Lab in May 2012 to start his doctoral studies at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in neuroscience.