Sero Toriano Parel
I am queer and non-binary and I am a science advocate and PhD student in neuroscience.//
I am a PhD student in the newly established Peña Lab at Princeton University, and I am an activist-scientist with the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines. I conduct research on the epigenetic and transcriptional effects of early-life stress on susceptibility to depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders in adulthood, using a combination of molecular, behavioral, and computational techniques. In my activism and organizing I connect my scientific questions to the political economic problems of forced migration and imperialism. I advocate for science and technology that enhance productivity, uplift the lives of everyday people, and contribute to genuine national development in the Philippines and other oppressed nations. I fight to stop the vicious cycle of poor science education, backward science and technology, and economic subservience brought about by historical and socio-economic conditions. At the triangulation of experimentation, computation, and advocacy, I am passionate about mental health among my oppressed and exploited communities and believe that we must arouse, organize, and mobilize our communities to rise up against exploitation and oppression and for genuine liberation and democracy.