Sofia earned a BSc in Biology and minor in Neuroscience at Haverford College, where she conducted her senior thesis research on aggregative protein interactions in a D. melanogaster model of C9ORF72-mediated Frontotemporal Dementia and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. At Haverford, she was also an NCAA saber fencer and a manager of the campus art gallery. After graduating, Sofia worked at NASA Ames Research Center for two years on the BioSentinel mission, a nanosatellite that will examine the effects of deep space radiation on biological systems. She helped optimize the mission’s data analysis pipeline, worked on improving yeast desiccation tolerance for long term spaceflight, and employed transcriptomic approaches to query responses to simulated galactic cosmic radiation at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory. As a PhD Student in Yale’s Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Sofia’s research interests have again turned to the molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease. In the Chandra lab, she is investigating how the function of substrates of the depalmitoylating enzyme palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1) are altered in Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (NCL), a rare lysosomal storage disorder that affects infants. Sofia is a coordinator for the INP outreach and recruitment committees. Outside of the lab, Sofia loves to travel home to her native Colorado or as far abroad as her bank account will allow. She is also an avid rock climber, and can be found riding her bike around New Haven, baking, or thrift shopping for first edition novels.
Education & Training
- BScHaverford College (2017)