I am gay and I am an oral microbiologist.//
I am an oral microbiologist at the University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry, interested in how bacteria interact with their environment and the consequence of these interactions to human health. As a dentist, I am particularly interested in understanding the factors contributing to dental plaque development and whether we can manipulate these factors to promote oral health.
I realized I was gay while in dental school in Brazil. While at a personal level, my sexuality did not concern me; that was not the case at the professional level. As a gay Latino immigrant, now in the US, conducting biomedical research, the lack of representation in the STEM field can still make me feel as if I do not belong. Groups like 500 Queer Scientists can have a strong positive effect on the retention of LGBTQ+ scientists in STEM by increasing our visibility and helping us see that we are not alone.