he/him and they/them
I am nonbinary transmasculine and I am a biology PhD student.//
I’ve always been interested in biology, and had the opportunity to start biomedical research in high school in the field of DNA repair. Throughout undergrad and going into grad school, I had every intention to continue in this field, but ended up in an immuno-oncology lab for my PhD! My research involves using Salmonella-based agents to improve immunotherapy for solid tumor cancers; these tumors are so dense that therapeutics have trouble getting in, so I use engineered Salmonella to degrade parts of the tumor to let those therapeutics do their job. Having identified as gay throughout undergrad, I slowly realized I was trans and began my graduate program fully out as nonbinary. This came with some hiccups as I am the first and only trans person in my program’s history! Because of this, I focused on improving administration policy at my school to better support trans folks, and unearthed a fierce passion for promoting DEI in STEM and academia. My future career plans now center advocacy for underrepresented minorities in STEM, in particular to show young LGBTQ scientists they are not alone and belong in STEM.