Laai’qah Touré


I am queer and I am a pre-dental student.//


As a black, queer, Muslim growing up in southside Chicago, making science possible in my world meant extracting from my resources and creating spaces that heightened my sense of identity. After a little exploration, I began making slime and rubber balls on the kitchen floor. Then, unlike many girls my age, I began spending hours crawling in the dirt with a magnifying glass intricately examining lightning bugs, roly polys, and worms. I realize now, I created a world of wonder I didn’t yet fully understand.

As I got older, I learned being a scientist and being true to who I am required bravery to extract from my resources to create the world I want to live in. Every day I discover ways to carry the brave heart of that little girl from the southside. After completing a Biological Sciences degree from Colorado State University, my brave heart led me to work in geriatric nursing, research on prion diseases, particularly Chronic Wasting Disease in cervids, and SMYD research on Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. These days, I am attending the University of Florida Microbiology and Cell Science program to center my focus on attending Dental School next Fall while discovering the art of computational biology and coding. My passion for dentistry comes from the heart of that little girl daring to be someone that never stops learning and creating a world that is fun and full of wonder. My goal is to bring my story to the LGBTQ+ community to represent those who are still finding their brave hearts and inspire more people like me to embrace science.