I am queer and I am an undergraduate-level vascular physiologist.//
I am a first generation college graduate in medical laboratory sciences at UNM. I grew up in a very small town which made it difficult to imagine myself succeeding in much, let alone a STEM field. I dropped out of high school as a result of my Queer identity making me feel as though I didn’t belong. I finally got my GED at 21 y/o and started college the same year.
I began working in inflammation and cardiovascular physiology research as an undergrad in 2015. Since then, I was offered a staff position in the same lab. I study endogenous H2S regulated vasoactivity, as well as the transcription factor NFATc3 in the regulation of autoimmune vascular disease and hypoxic pulmonary hypertension.
My work environment fosters support and comradery, making it very Queer friendly, and I am valued for that here. Growing up, there was no representation of people who looked like me in STEM which lead me to believe it wasn’t an option. Queer visibility is so important because it allows Queer children to see what their futures can look like, and that they can accomplish anything they dream. I’m proud to now be the person I needed when I was a lost child.