Q1. What kind of scientist are you? (What do you do/study/communicate about/teach? There isn’t just one way to be a scientist!): I am a molecular biologist! I work in a cell biology lab studying proteins of the nuclear envelope. We previously found some new proteins that live in the nuclear envelope, and now we're working on figuring out what roles the proteins play in cells. In the Fall, I'm starting my PhD at CU Boulder and am looking forward to getting back into neuroscience (my one true love). During my undergrad and master's, I worked in a lab studying how certain populations of neurons in the brain control puberty and fertility. There's nothing cooler to me than unraveling all of the ways the brain controls our body and makes us who we are!
Q2. What made you want to become a scientist?: When I was younger, I loved learning about the human body, but I didn't know that you could be a biologist as a career. I thought I wanted to be a doctor, but I knew that I didn't want to see patients. I thought instead I would enjoy being a medical examiner or forensic pathologist, since in this case my patients would already be dead. I interned for a forensic pathologist and realized that I loved the exploratory aspect of the job and being able to ask questions, but doing autopsies all day felt somewhat mundane to me. Once I was in college, I found out that I could work in a lab and explore cutting edge biology and I was hooked! The rest is history.
Q3. What makes you a #UniqueScientist? (this can be anything you feel comfortable talking about – be it being a woman or another underrepresented gender, an ethnic minority, LGBT+, disabled or just not looking like a scientist “should”): I am a queer Jewish woman. I am proud of my identities and think that all science benefits from diverse perspectives, in part because people of minority groups are more likely to see narratives that diverge from majority viewpoints. I also believe in the power of being able to control one's physical appearance, even though some people think this makes me look less like a scientist. I have multiple tattoos (including a biology themed one) and sometimes my hair is dyed bright colors.
Q4. What’s something cool you do outside of work? (show off your funky personality!): I enjoy writing, especially about queer culture and experiences. I'm also into martial arts and have a blue belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and an orange belt in Krav Maga.
Q5. If you had one wish and could change anything in science, what would it be?: I wish that science were more equitable and treated all scientists equally and with respect, regardless of their identities.
Q6. Who(m) has inspired you the most in your journey to where you are now? (#UniqueScientists is hoping to motivate and inspire others, so we hope you’ll take this opportunity to reflect back on the people who have marked your lives and influenced you in getting where you are today): I really admire the graduate student and postdoc who I worked with when I was an undergrad/master's student. They helped me understand how to "do science" and helped cultivate my love for neuroscience. I am grateful for other queer scientists on Twitter who have given me a framework for understanding how I fit in as a queer scientist.
Q7. Let’s end on a high note! What’s something you’ve done this week that you’re proud of? (Can be in science or not! We should all be proud of our achievements): I addressed a situation that had been giving me social anxiety, and there was a positive outcome for everyone involved!
HASHTAGS: #WomenInSTEM, #QueerInSTEM