UCI assistant professor of molecular biology and biochemistry Dequina Nicholas studies how lipid immunology contributes to Type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome, with the goal of developing immunotherapies. Before she joined UCI, some colleagues told her that Black people didn’t make good scientists. “There are many ways you can take messages such as that,” she says. “It can demoralize or crush you. I decided to prove them wrong. I worked extremely hard. My goal has always been to change attitudes, change perspectives.” Nicholas recently sat down with Nature magazine to discuss tackling racism in science head on and how burning a bridge can sometimes be an act of self-preservation.
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