I am gay and I am a postdoctoral research scientist.//
I am a cell biologist studying blood clotting at Imperial College London. For the past 3 years I have been trying to understand links between HIV therapy and heart disease. The good news is that effective HIV therapy means that people taking these drugs are now predicted to have a normal life expectancy. However, data suggests that people living with HIV have a greater chance of heart disease. My research investigates this link by testing the effect of HIV drugs on blood clotting from HIV negative volunteer blood samples.
I am passionate about science communication and have been involved in Pint of Science for 3 years. In 2019, I was part of a team that lobbied Imperial College to sponsor LGBT STEM Day and we also secured funds to run a public engagement event to showcase LGBTQ+ researchers. Our event was sold out and 20% of attendees identified as allies. This was important as presenters included details of their personal experiences of being LGBTQ+ in STEM and the audience left with better understanding of their research and specific issues that they have faced.
By talking about being LGBTQ+ in STEM we can break stigma and support each other.