No matter what field of science you’re in, your hard work toward advancing discovery inspires us. That’s why we’ve created a new space for scientists to tell their stories.
Each month, we’ll add new, engaging interviews with inspiring, real scientists that reveal their personal journeys, areas of research, and passion for the challenging work that can help us understand and improve our world.
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Name: Chinmayee Shah
Location: Cambridge, MA

If I weren’t a scientist I would be a: Dancer

Why did you choose to pursue science? I work in cancer immuno-therapy research and the reason I chose it is not because someone died in my family because of cancer, but that I believe in science, and I believe that there is nothing that can’t be attained. I always follow one rule in life: "Everything has a solution if you just believe that there is one."

Favorite memory in the lab: Working late hours trying to make one assay work and the happiness of hitting the right thing that leads to a paper.

If you could change anything about society’s perception of science/scientists what would it be? That scientists are not to be stereotyped to be nerds! They can be cheerful, party-going, fun people who happen to love science but are outgoing at the same time.

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Name: Rubia Martin
Location: Raleigh, NC

How would you explain your work? I am studying to become a toxicologist. I am concerned how environmental toxins (poisons) can influence sporadic neurological diseases, such as ALS, by changing one's biological body compositions. Therefore, I expose neurons to environmental toxins, and then I evaluate specific responses, such as increase or decrease of certain proteins that are important to biological body functions.

If I weren’t a scientist I would be an: Aesthetician

Why did you choose to pursue science? Since I have been a little girl, I have always enjoyed learning about life! I am always questioning why things happens the way they happen. As I matured I knew I had to become a scientist as I never cease the desire to learn new things!

Favorite memory in the lab: The wonderful people I work with!

If you could change anything about society’s perception of science/scientists what would it be? That we are actually good people. We are not nerds, weird, shy, antisocial or whatever you may call us. Actually, most of us are easygoing and easy to communicate with. We have to be, as we aim to widely distribute knowledge. Also, we get pretty excited and happy because we know we have the potential to make a difference in the future by helping our community with new discoveries!

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Name: Chelsae Dumbauld
Location: Chapel Hill, NC

How would you explain your work? I process archived blood and tumor cancer research samples. Then I look at markers on the cells using fluorescent antibodies that mark specific cell types. The differences in a sample's cell subsets can predict or show how they respond to treatment.

If I weren’t a scientist I would be a: Theater performer. I've always had a passion for acting and being on stage.

Why did you choose to pursue science? My interest in science started in my 8th grade life sciences class. I felt enlightened every time I learned something new about how "life" really worked. Whether it is plants or animals, I am amazed by how complex living things can be.

Favorite memory in the lab: When I was the first person in my lab to use our brand new flow cytometer.

If you could change anything about society’s perception of science/scientists what would it be? If I could change anything, I wish that society's perception of science was not based on religious or political beliefs. Science itself is not based in religion or politics, which is what I find so pure about it.

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