Unique Scientist: Zanah Francis

Meet Zanah Francis (She/Her)! Zanah is a PhD student at The University of Rochester in the USA!

What kind of scientist are you?
I’m a microbiology PhD student at the University of Rochester in New York. I study peptidoglycan crosslinking (part of the cell wall of bacteria) in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (the cause of “TB”–tuberculosis).

“Please hire me for all future science lab related stock photos.”

Zanah Francis

What made you want to become a scientist?
When I was a kid, I loved going to science museums and participating in science fairs. Growing up I thought it would be so cool to be a scientist and get to do fun experiments all day!

What makes you a #UniqueScientist?
The media generally depicts scientists as old, straight, white men but I’m a black twenty-something, queer woman scientist. Also I’m a first generation American and the first in my family to go into science.

“The media generally depicts scientists as old, straight, white men but I’m a black twenty-something, queer woman scientist.”

Zanah Francis

What’s something cool you do outside of work?
I don’t do anything particularly cool outside of work. When I’m not in lab I’m either hanging out with friends, reading, or watching Netflix.

If you had one wish and could change anything in science, what would it be?
I wish science was more accessible to everyone. Anyone who wants to get involved and learn new things should be able to. Scientists should make sure that they can communicate their science to those who want to understand but may not have a strong science background.

Who(m) has inspired you the most in your journey to where you are now?
I’m really inspired by successful, strong black women in the media like Serena Williams, Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, and Oprah. I see these women and I feel inspired to work harder so I can be that strong black woman for someone else one day. 

I’m really inspired by successful, strong black women in the media like Serena Williams, Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, and Oprah.”

Zanah Francis

Let’s end on a high note! What’s something you’ve done this week that you’re proud of?
I finally went to the eye doctor and got an eye exam so I could order some new glasses.

#WomenInSTEM, #QueerInSTEM, #BlackInSTEM

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