I’m gay and I’m a virologist. //
I’m a university lecturer and research group leader. I study how mosquito-borne viruses are transmitted, which means I mostly think about how viruses infect mosquitoes rather than humans. My ‘pet virus’ is dengue virus, which infects about 400 million people a year and can cause severe fevers and hemorrhage. Most of my work involves growing mosquito cells in the lab, but I’m starting to work in tropical communities affected by mosquito-borne diseases. I studied for my BSc in Medical Microbiology and Virology at the University of Warwick, and then did a PhD at Imperial College London. I did my postdoc at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City before starting my own research group. I took time out along the way to work in industry and volunteer in conservation projects in Australia and South America. Those volunteer experiences are coming in handy now that I’ve started working more with tropical countries. I’m passionate about science communication and using science to inform policy. I never had any openly LGBTQ scientists as role models, so I hope contributing my story will help the next generation realize how many of us there are out there.