Michael Welte


I am gay and I am an academic cell and developmental biologist at the University of Rochester, where I am professor and chair of biology.//

My research uses Drosophila to study organelle, RNA, and protein trafficking; the major focus is the cell biology of lipid droplets, intracellular fat storage organelles. Because until 10-15 years ago lipid droplets were studied by only a small number of researchers, there remains much to be discovered. What draws me to science is the chance to solve difficult puzzles in the real word and the possibility to find something entirely new, something that nobody has previously understood or was even able to imagine. I have been fortunate that from graduate school onward I have been in academic environments where me being out might be a novelty, but never a problem. At our respective work places, my husband and I are just another old married couple. Nevertheless, I have become more and more interested in increasing the visibility of LGBTQ folks in science. Some people just cannot imagine that there may be something like a gay scientist – until they meet one.