Lee Diego Lacasa
I am gay and I am a recent biochemistry and neuroscience dual graduate transitioning into allergy and immunology.//
As a brown, LGBTQ+, first-generation, transfer student, I entered college with a desire to uncover the molecular mechanisms that govern human behavior and emotional states. To be honest, a driving force in my pursuit of these two disciplines was to find validation in my identity, to slowly process aspects of my emotional trauma from familial relationships. Growing up feeling displaced and invisible due to my family’s deep religious beliefs, science was the one thing I claimed as my own and my hopeful answer to the many stigmas and taboos I encountered at home.
Born and raised in southeast San Diego, I never imagined myself attending college, let alone pursuing graduate school. Yet as far back as I can remember, I dreamt of being a scientist with my entire heart. Despite socio-economic and -cultural boundaries while pursuing higher education, it was only natural that my interests led me towards biomedicine. I’m proud to now pursue Allergy and Immunology at the UCSD School of Medicine, specifically studying innate lymphoid cells and their numerous roles in asthma pathology. Afterward, I plan to pursue medicine and public health to reform accessibility of healthcare services and LGBTQ+ visibility in low-income communities such as my own.