ICTR Researcher Contributes to Commentary in Special Issue of Cell

A researcher with the mentorship team of the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) has contributed to a commentary published in the journal Cell on issues faced by transgender scientists in academia, and how support from institutions and allies not only improves the climate for these scientists, but also science itself.

Dr. Fátima Sancheznieto is an Associate Researcher with the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) Coordination Center at ICTR. As part of an international group of 24 co-authors from the United States, Canada, India, Germany, and other countries, she co-authored “Rigorous science demands support of transgender scientists,” which was published online in March.

The commentary is part of a special issue of Cell, the flagship biology journal of Cell Press, devoted to sex and gender in science. As described by the publisher, the piece “explores the experiences of sex and gender minorities in STEMM and why addressing systemic barriers that they face will lead not only to just, equitable, and diverse research departments, but also to more rigorous science.”

Sancheznieto noted that, although the concepts in the piece might make some uncomfortable, she hopes that those readers will “sit with the discomfort” not only to make scientific research environments more welcoming to transgender, nonbinary and intersex researchers—which helps them be their most productive selves and develop their careers—but to better the scientific enterprise.

“I hope people will approach the article with an open mind, not just to work with transgender scientists better, but to do better, more precise and more creative science,” she said.

Read the commentary here. The piece was published March 14, 2024, in Vol. 187, Issue 6 of Cell.