Meet the WinRS: Taylor Pini, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine
What is your background/current position and what does it entail?
My background is in sperm biology and proteomics. I originally worked with sheep and in my current position as a postdoc was working with human tissues, mice and cell lines in a clinical setting at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine. Most of my research has focused on better understanding basic sperm physiology, as well as the impacts of systemic disease on male fertility, and characterizing the embryo-endometrial dialogue.
What impact has being quarantined had on your daily activities and position?
Quarantine has brought up some new challenges – communicating effectively over various channels, when everyone has varying schedules has been tough. I love being outdoors, but have chosen to largely restrict my activities, which can be frustrating and saddening at times. This pandemic has had a significant effect on my position, as I’ve been working on a non-immigrant visa, meaning my income is tied up in immigration law and I don’t have the option of government support for income or healthcare. Ultimately, this meant I chose to give up my current position to return to my home country.
What expectations have you had to let go or remove from your daily activities and position?
Definitely the expectation of “normal” productivity. It’s not worth the mental and emotional burden of trying to work in a “business as usual” state when we are far from it. While I keep myself on track by setting at least 3 achievable goals for each work day, I understand that some days will be more productive than others and that’s ok.
What are you most excited to do once the pandemic has cleared?
Travel! I love visiting foreign countries, and hope to spend some time enjoying Southeast Asia.
How has being a woman in science affected your experiences and/or position during quarantine?
I haven’t personally experienced any gender based differences, but I also don’t have children. I know that many women who are mothers are really struggling right now, expected to be teacher, caregiver and scientist, all full time. I think we need to acknowledge that in many families it’s women taking on this burden, and women who will be at a greater disadvantage in months and potentially years to come.
What words of inspiration would you like to share to other women in science and the future generation of women in science?
It’s great to be dedicated to your work, but never feel guilty for taking time for you. It’s easy for your life to revolve around work, so make space for things you enjoy outside of it. Having this balance gives you better perspective on challenges and failures, and also creates time to reflect on achievements you are proud of.