I’m a lesbian and I’m a PhD student in cellular and molecular medicine. //

My BSc and MSc were in microbiology, studying oncogenic viruses. In my PhD I work on understanding the tumor immune microenvironment in ovarian cancer and hope to use this knowledge to develop new therapeutics to treat the disease. Biomedical research is a male-driven field. When only 30-35% of professors are women, it’s hard to find a woman, let alone another queer woman, to look up to. During my MSc, I wondered whether it was ok to be who I am in this field. I kept on thinking, “Will it hurt my chances of … ?” I live my life open and unapologetic of my sexuality, so when I began my PhD I decided not hide that part of my life at work anymore. Sometimes I still wonder if it will hurt my chances at getting a grant/collaboration, but I think staying silent will only hurt the STEM and LGBTQ+ communities. I hope that by being open and proud about who I am, I can be a role model to others, and that it shows everyone that the LGBTQ+ community is welcome in science. Outside of work I love to cook, and I’m a writer of lesbian romance novels under a pseudonym.