Alexa Rae Brzoska


Cornelius, NC

Academic Interests

Neuroscience / Global Health major with an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate

Fun Fact

My mom’s side of the family is from Rosario, Argentina; the same town the professional soccer player, Lionel Messi is from.

Hey everyone!! My name is Lexie, and I am a junior here at Duke, double-majoring in Neuroscience and Global Health, as well as getting a certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Hailing from a biracial household, it has always been a goal of mine to be a woman in STEM and inspire other STEM-inclined women to chase their dreams. Being at Duke has truly allowed me to make that dream a reality. 

Through the Science and the Public FOCUS cluster, in addition to Biology 154: Aids and Emerging Diseases, both of which I participated in my Freshman year, my eyes have been opened to the shortcomings of healthcare worldwide. Since then, I knew that a global health perspective would be imperative in fulfilling a role in any career, but especially in healthcare. With that same token, organizations such as SPIRE have also helped me nourish this essential diverse mindset, by increasing empathy, reflection, and awareness of others’ experiences. Many of these characteristics overlap with concepts from neuroscience, as you are able to develop a deeper understanding of people’s actions, both physically and abstractly. Global health and Neuroscience together are extremely beneficial in solving humanitarian issues as they are nuanced and complex–involving human thought and decision-making. Furthermore, I have always prided myself on my creativity and wanted to nurture those skills in the context of innovation and entrepreneurship, which allows me to be artistic and strategic in a myriad of ways.

Aside from SPIRE, I am an undergraduate researcher at the Karra Lab, where we use mice as models to investigate the crossover of regenerative biology and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, I can be found in my happy place as a Duke Puppy Kindergarten Volunteer at the Biological Sciences Building (we have visiting hours!). I am also a writer and design editor for the Duke Journal for Health Equity where we critically & thoughtfully explore the US healthcare system. Lastly, I devote a significant portion of my time to the Student Organization Finance Committee where I am a part of the Management and Communications team and serve as Website Manager. 

These opportunities have been integral in helping me better define what I am passionate about and who I want to be. My hope is to one day run a non-profit that will rehabilitate shelter animals for different types of therapy. Being at Duke and tapping into the resources that this university has to offer, I have been able to make huge strides toward fulfilling both my personal and professional goals.  

Aside from science, art, and languages, I love to play soccer. Throughout my childhood, when I wasn’t doing homework or drawing, the soccer field was where I would spend most of my free time. At some point, I even thought that I would pursue the sport professionally because of how much I enjoyed it. Now it helps ease my stress and allows me to escape reality when I feel overwhelmed. 

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

I love how diverse the SPIRE student body is; everyone comes from a different walk of life and has unique skill sets. Additionally, I feel like I am a part of such a supportive community that encourages my growth!

Alexa Rae Brzoska
Alexa Rae Brzoska