Unique Scientist: Nicole Rivera

Time to meet Nicole Rivera (She/her)! Nicole is a biochemist with experience in cancer and clinical research!

What kind of scientist are you?
Biochemist with cancer research experience as well as 6 years of clinical research experience in cardiology and respiratory care.

What made you want to become a scientist?
I have always wanted to help others, specifically with cancer research. I see science as a way to study the world around us as well as a way to find innovative solutions to daily problems.

“I see science as a way to study the world around us as well as a way to find innovative solutions to daily problems.”

Nicole Rivera

What makes you a #UniqueScientist?
I’m a bisexual, Hispanic, first-gen highschool and college graduate. I’m heavily tattooed, a former sex worker and disabled. I am no longer working in clinical research since I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer at 27 years old.

What’s something cool you do outside of work?
I now advocate for education about colon cancer risk in the under 50 population. I developed stage IV colon cancer at 27 years old. I’m on a mission to make sure others know the symptoms and signs, especially those with a family history because the rates are rising drastically in young adults.

If you had one wish and could change anything in science, what would it be?
Honestly that the general public respected our work more. That the people in power in the US believed climate scientists and vaccine scientists and that there wasn’t such an anti-science, pro-ignorance push in my country.

“I’m a bisexual, Hispanic, first-gen highschool and college graduate. I’m heavily tattooed, a former sex worker and disabled.”

Nicole Rivera

Who has inspired you the most in your journey to where you are now?
Many of my teachers growing up, especially my highschool physics teacher and my college biochemistry professor.

Let’s end on a high note! What’s something you’ve done this week that you’re proud of?
Survived, despite my cancer growing and living without health insurance in the United States.


#WomenInSTEM, #LatinxInSTEM, #LatinasInSTEM

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