Atom J. Lesiak

They/Them, Ze/Zir

I am transgender/ genderqueer/ queer and I am a neuroscientist. //

I am a postdoctoral fellow and neuroscientist at the University of Washington. I seek to understand the cellular, molecular, and genetic mechanisms underlying chronic stress and depression. I volunteer with the Pacific Science Center sharing my love of science with the public, and at Ingersoll Gender Center in support of the transgender community. Additionally, I lead projects to provide medical providers early career training on how to provide better medical services for LGBTQ patients. My passion for science and the brain developed while seeking explanations for my gender dysphoria. I began gender transition in college, only to find myself frustrated with the expectations of feeling coerced to choose between living as a feminine woman or a masculine man. Ultimately, I have determined that scientific research can do little to empirically measure an individual’s gender identity beyond asking the question, “What is your gender?”