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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Luvina Vilapriño Aguirre


Neuroscience Major and Spanish Minor

To pursue her ambitions, Vilapriño Aguirre decided to leave her hometown of Mendoza, Argentina.

Luvina Vilapriño Aguirre ’26 exudes passion for neuroscience. Watching her father work diligently as a psychiatrist, she knew from a young age that she wanted to delve deeper into understanding the brain. “I don’t think there are enough studies out there about how the brain works. We need more research and I want to help with that,” she said. 

To pursue her ambitions and create opportunities outside of medical school, Vilapriño Aguirre decided to leave her hometown of Mendoza, Argentina, and move to the United States. “The first three months were amazing. Everything was so new and fascinating,” Vilapriño Aguirre said.

Growing up in a tight-knit household, Vilapriño Aguirre has always been close to her family. This made moving across the world not only a culture shock but also the beginning of a challenging yet fulfilling period of her life.

Vilapriño Aguirre decided to start playing soccer in her second year of college to stay in touch with her Argentinian heritage. In Mendoza, a large part of Vilapriño Aguirre’s social life was centered around soccer. However, as a woman, playing soccer was not always an option because of the cultural stigma surrounding women athletes. She says finding comradery among her Prairie Fire teammates helps her disconnect from the academic grind and form strong bonds in her new home. 

In the future, she hopes to work with Associate Professor of Biology and Chair of Neuroscience Esther Penick to pursue research relating to the nervous system. One day, she hopes to return to Argentina to continue researching mental illness, treating patients, and perhaps even start a foundation to raise funding for those who suffer from mental health issues.“I don’t think there is enough information about mental illness out there and I want to change that,” she said.

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Printed on Thursday, April 25, 2024