Nikki Mastrud


I am ace, non binary, and overall queer and I am an undergraduate microbiology student. //

I’m entering my final year studying microbiology at the University of Arizona. I’ve been (loudly) out as queer since attending a STEM magnet high school, and have remained engaged with both the STEM and queer communities on my campus, but find that they tend to have little overlap outside of spaces explicitly carved out for them, such as oSTEM. This can be isolating, especially in terms of networking, because despite having amazing, supportive mentors across the university, I know of no “out” faculty in my field. K-12 STEM outreach, especially to all underrepresented communities, is very important to me, to show aspiring queer (and non-queer!) scientists that there are real-life queer people loving and succeeding in science. I currently research immuobiology focusing on T regulatory cells and innate immunity pathways, and hope to one day study the immunology of parasitic neglected tropical diseases.