Meet our team.
Dr Matthew Sinton
I am the founder of The STEM Village and a postdoctoral research assistant at the University of Glasgow. I have a PhD in the transcriptional and epigenetic changes that occur during the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. I am currently researching how metabolism of the adaptive immune system responds to infection, to resolve disease. Growing up, I was never aware of any LGBTQ+ teachers in my schools, and I was in my 20s before I first met an openly LGBTQ+ person in STEM. This is the experience for many of us, and it has created an image that only specific people are able to have a successful career in these fields.
By founding The STEM Village, I wanted to create a space to challenge the heteronormative image of STEM, where those who are successful are perceived to fit a rigid mould. In this light, I want to show LGBTQ+ people who are interested in STEM careers that we don’t need to fit this mould to be a part of the community. As a group, we are now actively working to provide opportunities for the LGBTQ+ STEM community to showcase their research and demonstrate that rigour and professionalism are independent of gender and sexuality. I want to continue this work and expand it across all areas of STEM, so that people from across the intersections of our community see themselves represented.
Dr Katie Nicoll Baines
I am currently the Project Manager for an EPSRC funded grant called Evidence Base which is investigating barriers to career progression for marginalised people in STEM. I have a PhD in the genetics of human muscle ageing and spent 2 years post-PhD doing computational biology. I would describe myself as a queer feminist which makes me quite personally passionate about equality for LGBTQ+ people.
I think the often invisibility of the LGBTQ+ community in academia, particularly STEM subjects, is related to heteronormative notions of what is considered rigorous and professional. I want to challenge heteronormativity and champion the reality that LGBTQ+ people exist and should be safe to do so openly, visibly and with equal rights and recognition. My involvement in The STEM Village helps to make LGBTQ+ visibility in STEM a reality.
Professor Mehmet Kurt
I am an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology and an adjunct assistant professor at the Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Institute at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. My lab works on understanding the biomechanics of the human brain through modelling, experimentation, and novel neuroimaging techniques. The STEM workplace is often not a place where LGBTQ+ people feel able to be out.
As an LGBTQ+ individual, my long-term educational goal is to increase the visibility and participation of LGBTQ+ students/individuals in STEM. My own experience has taught me the importance of creating and maintaining an intersectional platform of community building, education, and advocacy that is actively anti-racist, anti-oppression, and pro-justice, and equity. My efforts to increase visibility of LGBTQ+ individuals in STEM focus on bringing awareness to the issue, providing mentorship platforms and help drive change by promoting and organizing events that offer more visibility to LGBTQ+ students.