I’m queer and I’m a neuroscientist. //
Each moment, the brain does a ludicrous number of things to give us a coherent experience in the world. I first encountered the complexity of the brain at Lafayette College, where my personal life also became more complex—I met my first girlfriend, came out of the closet, and grappled with my Catholic background. When I graduated, I felt I had only scratched the surface of neuroscience, and I wanted more. In 2011, I began my PhD at UC San Diego thinking I’d do research in humans, but I soon learned the power of animal models to study specific cell types and circuits. For my doctoral research, I used such tools to understand how the brain processes motion. Beyond lab, I was writing, teaching, and still grappling with family, religion, and identity. After defending, I joined the lab of Dr. Anne Churchland. We’re using cutting edge recording devices to record from an unprecedented number of neurons, with the goal of understanding multisensory integration during decision-making. This fall, I’ll be returning to UCSD as an assistant teaching professor. And yep—there will probably still be some tough moments. But it gets easier each step of the way.