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Holly Sofka

Holly SofkaI am originally from Pennsylvania, where I received a BS degree in Biochemistry from Elizabethtown College. I moved to Arizona to pursue my PhD in chemistry, where I am a current fourth year student in the lab of Dr. John Jewett. Since joining the lab, my projects have focused on the development and use of lysine reactive probes that are activated in basic environments. We are currently using these probes to explore the midgut proteome of mosquito larvae to help identify new drug targets for mosquito control. Outside of the lab I like to cook, travel, do yoga, and spend time with my adopted cat Oliver.

 I chose UArizona for graduate school for multiple reasons including the beautiful campus and city, welcoming department, the potential research projects I could contribute to, and the opportunities within. I currently work in the lab of Dr. John Jewett, where my project focuses on the development of a new class of lysine reactive probes and tuning them to react under different environmental conditions. The Victor P. Thalacker Graduate Fellowship will allow me to continue my education by providing support for additional educational supplies that are necessary for my research and personal growth. Additionally, this fellowship will support me in presenting my research at various conferences, which is a vital part in my professional development through networking and science communication. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities and resources that will now be available to me from the support of this fellowship. After graduate school, I aspire to study human diseases, helping to develop vaccines, pharmaceuticals, or therapeutics.