I am queer, pansexual and and transgender and I am a postgraduate (MSc) researcher in immunotherapy.//
I’m a queer (pansexual) transgender man (he/him), a secular humanist/atheist, an aracial PoC, and a refugee. Most of my life was spent surviving daily violence in the country I fled for being who I am and for wanting to do science. Atheists and queer folks were being slaughtered in their own homes; bioengineers were being slain in broad daylight; death threats from religious extremists against me started in 7th grade, and I continued to face relentless and brutal transphobic, atheist-phobic and queerphobic assaults along with domestic child abuse. I fled both for my life and to keep doing research, away from the threats of being tortured, killed, forced into a corrective marriage to beat the trans- and queerness out and the fear of god into me. Even after fleeing, I’ve faced structural barriers every step of the way— <1% of refugees globally are ever able to access tertiary education.
Today, I’m a postgraduate student at UPV/EHU in Molecular Biology and Biomedicine and a cancer immunotherapy researcher. I’m working on characterizing the expression of a tumor-associated glycoprotein called Siglec-15 in lung cancer cells in hypoxia, and designing and optimizing a novel normalization immunotherapy construct for adoptive cell transfer therapy for in vitro testing. I’m a very reason-driven person, but I’m also a romantic. I fight for whom and what I love, and suffices to say: being an out, loud and proud scientist is a testament to my love for science and how much I have fought for it.