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Diversity Initiatives

Hispanic Heritage Month

Manuel Llinas for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Manuel Llinás

Title: Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemistry

Degrees: Ph.D., Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley (1999); B.S., Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University (1992)

Connect: Twitter | Web


What motivates you to do science?

I work on malaria, which is a major global infectious disease that afflicts a little under half a billion people worldwide each year, mainly in children under the age of five. It’s not hard to feel motivated by those devastating numbers in the centuries-old struggle against this endemic pandemic.


What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

I have long been motivated and empowered by the struggles of ethnic minorities in the United States and elsewhere. Having grown up on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, I very much felt like an outsider for much of my life, since I am a first-generation American from an immigrant family. Many Hispanics in the US are immigrants. For me, it’s always good to reflect on my roots and our common language and diverse cultural heritage in food, customs, and our predecessors' homelands. Fortunately, I have traveled a lot in Argentina, the country of my parents' origin. It is a comfortable second home for me that also provides me perspective on my life here in the first world through all the differences that I have seen firsthand throughout Latin America.