Her Volcano

Featured scientist: Swati Gupta


Spring tastes like lemons,
and bird chirps look purple —
synesthesia —
inflamed her path to neuroscience.

She creates cliff-hugging trails
in her Parkinson’s Disease research
to find its early mental markers and stem
its neural devastation.

She wants to be the disruption,
the volcano erupting,
cracking the male body of science
and burning roads for the underrepresented.

Underrepresented in research itself,
performed mostly on male mice
and retrofitted
like an ugly burlap sack dress to women.
But she researches on both
and writes in capital letters when presenting

She’s a binder,
a combiner
seeking unity where others see difference.
Asked about her ethnicity, “It shouldn’t matter.
Our shared experience, what makes us
human at our core, does.”

For her, obstacles just aren’t.
Her explosive volcano
hurls a fiery, sticky lava.

Miriam Manglani