Roch De Silva


I am gay and I am a biochemist.//


Hi, I’m Roch! I am currently a doctoral student at Georgetown University, the Vice-President of the Grad Student Chemistry Society, and, foremost, a scientist researching new ways to inhibit cancer proteins. A dangerous cancer protein that I am targeting, called ‘Myc,’ is regarded as one of the trickiest obstacles in cancer drug discovery, as Myc has resisted nearly all treatment attempts so far. At Georgetown, I look for small molecules that could disrupt or inhibit Myc. Every day, I am getting closer.

I was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka—a lush coastal city with a tempestuous history and a socially conservative status quo. As is the case for many South Asian gay men, it was difficult growing up there, and I did not come out until I moved to the United States, riding a scholarship to Bates College. Once there, I began to truly embrace who I am and what I love. My studies have taken me from Sri Lanka to Maine to Paris to D.C., and I am extremely proud to represent the LGBT+ community as a gay scientist.