Celebrate International LGBT STEM Day at the Museum and hear the stories and experiences of LGBTQ+ students and professionals in STEM. We’ll hear from a panel of local professionals and academics who will talk about their path to science, how they found success, and share their advice for others. Recent studies show that many students and academics in STEM fields who identify as LGBTQ+ do not come out to their colleagues, feel unsafe in their work environments, and experience harassment at higher rates than other individuals. This event aims to raise the visibility of LGBTQ+ people in STEM in North Carolina and celebrate diversity in STEM.
Aria Danielle Arús-Altuz
Aria Danielle Arús-Altuz is a transwoman and immunologist working at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute. Her work and interest revolves around HIV vaccine development and understanding the interaction of B and T during and following vaccination, particularly the inter- and intracellular events that take place within the germinal centers — the anatomic site of antibody evolution during an immune response. Aside from her passion in the biological sciences, she cares strongly about community, openness and inclusivity in the workplace and beyond, and currently sits in the Institute’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Outside of work, she is a DJ, electronic musician, community event organizer, and an active member of the LGBTQ Democrats of Wake County.
Matthew Lockett, PhD
Dr. Matthew Lockett is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an associate member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Matthew’s laboratory is developing a paper-based culture platform to generate tissue-like structures. His lab is also developing the tools needed to assess cellular responses in these structures when exposed to physiological gradients. Matthew has received a number of awards including the Eli Lilly Young Investigator Award in Analytical Chemistry and the Bioanalysis Zone New Investigator Award. He was recently named as one of the top 40-under-40 investigators in The Analytical Scientist.
Alyssa Kalata, PhD
Alyssa Kalata is a licensed psychologist in the state of North Carolina. After receiving both her master’s and doctoral Degrees in clinical psychology from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo and her bachelor’s degree in psychology and women’s studies from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, she completed her predoctoral internship at Duke University Medical Center with a focus on cognitive-behavioral therapy. Alyssa has served in various roles during her professional career, including clinical supervisor, research and program development associate, associate clinical director and clinical director. She currently serves as a clinical trainer for a healthcare system focused on the treatment of eating disorders.
Nicholas Pashos, PhD
Dr. Nicholas Pashos is the Founder and CEO of BioAesthetics. BioAesthetics’ mission is focused on transforming lives through advancements in biomaterials. It has developed an acellular tissue graft for regeneration of the nipple-areolar complex for breast cancer/mastectomy patients. Dr. Pashos has received numerous honors and awards including being a National Science Foundation IGERT Fellow, and giving the keynote address at the School of Biomedical Engineering, Drexel University, 2017 commencement. Dr. Pashos earned his BS degree in biomedical engineering from Drexel University (2011), and his PhD in Bioinnovation from Tulane University (2017).