Time to meet Michael Bale (He/him)! Michael is a researcher studying HIV-host interactions as part of the NCI HIV Dynamics and Replication Program in the USA!
What kind of scientist are you?
I am currently a post-baccalaureate researcher studying HIV intra-patient phylogenetics and integration site landscapes.
What made you want to become a scientist?
I fell in love with chemistry and biology from set of teachers in high school. Got a research experience over my sophomore year summer in college in an HIV lab and went back the following summer and was offered a position following graduation and have been there since.
“I would wish that there are more systemic ways for minorities and women to succeed in STEM.”Michael Bale
What makes you a #UniqueScientist?
I’m Puerto Rican on my mother’s side as well as a gay male.
What’s something cool you do outside of work?
I’m an active member of my local Ultimate Frisbee community — Frederick Area Ultimate! As well as a violist in the National Institutes of Health’s community symphony orchestra — the NIH Philharmonia.
If you had one wish and could change anything in science, what would it be?
I would wish that there are more systemic ways for minorities and women to succeed in STEM. Women are far more likely to be driven away from STEM and minorities have a hard time even getting into STEM. Science is for everyone and we should be better about making that mantra a reality.
“Science is for everyone and we should be better about making that mantra a reality.”Michael Bale
Who has inspired you the most in your journey to where you are now?
My current mentor (@DrMFKearney) has been a complete dream to work with. She has not only been a fabulous mentor in science, fierce advocate for women in science, but also in life. I hope to be even half the mentor she is to my students someday. My parents have been also always told me to pursue my scientific career.
Let’s end on a high note! What’s something you’ve done this week that you’re proud of?
I sat down at my piano for the first time in a while this week and played. Piano used to be a great escape from reality when school or life was too much; however, recently I had not been able to find time to sit down and just play or practice. It was nice to play again.