I was born in Goshen, Indiana and attended Northridge High School. While going through school, I was always more interested in science and math than other subjects. After taking calculus, I decided math was not the path for me, but through my International Baccalaureate (IB) Biology course, I did find a passion for biology.

A lot of what I learned in that class guided me toward a profession in healthcare and, perhaps, research. Coming to IUPUI as a biology major allowed me to explore both paths and ultimately decide where I fit best.

High school senior photo.
Soccer, senior year.
Study abroad in London, 2023.
IUPUI freshman intramural soccer.

It was one of the most formative experiences I had not only at the School of Science, but in life.

Sophie on working in Dr. Balakrishnan’s biochemistry lab.

Life-changing experiences set foundation for success

As a first-year student, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work in Dr. Lata Balakrishnan's biochemistry lab, and honestly, it was one of the most formative experiences I had not only at the School of Science, but in life. When I first started researching with Dr. Balakrishnan, I mostly learned the environment, equipment, projects, and washed dishes. Once I got more comfortable, I started working with the graduate students in the lab, prepping things for them like buffers or gels, and eventually I started completing things on my own.

Aside from learning so many technical skills during this time, Dr. Balakrishnan instilled so much confidence in me as a scientist, student, and person. In fact, I can even pinpoint the moment in that lab when I thought, “Wait, I actually know what I’m doing and that’s really cool,” which seems small but showed me how to be confident in myself and what I know. This confidence carried into so many other aspects of my life outside of lab, and helped get me where I am today!

First day of PT shadowing.
DPT recreational soccer team.