Banned Scientists

Documenting the impact of the immigration ban on U.S. science

Kian Sani

Pathogen Genomics, Diagnostics, And Surveillance

Broad Institute Of Mit And Harvard And Harvard College

I mine genomes of microbes to identity unique sequence stretches of DNA to leverage toward the development of diagnostic tests. Though broadly applicable in technique, I have specifically developed a rapid, accurate test for babesiosis, a tick-borne disease of rising prevalence caused by malaria-like parasite Babesia microti.

A Canadian-born person of paternal Iranian and maternal Philippine heritage, I fortunately do not fall under the legal scope of the ban. However, as I take deep pride in my Persian cultural heritage, the ban and the socio-political climate it reflects are deeply disheartening. I firmly believe this ban, evidently on religious grounds, is not only antithetical to the Constitution, but also demonstrably harmful toward its perceived stated aim, for a whole host of reasons covered extensively. As an areligious person, I stand with my brothers and sisters of Iran and all affected countries in stark opposition to this absurdity. As Iranian-Americans have contributed immensely to the biomedical field in the US, this ban has indeed palpably impacted the advancement of science and medicine, from the bench to the bedside, and beyond across many fields!

Please note that these are my personal views—not necessarily reflective of any institutions with which I am affiliated.