Sofia Espinoza, Ph.D.
I was born and raised in Lima, Peru. I went to college at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and then moved to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in the Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry Department at Yale University. As part of the Thomas Pollard Laboratory I utilize multidisciplinary approaches to elucidate key parts of the biochemical pathways that allows cellular motility.
While in graduate school, I have also been part of several science outreach initiatives. My main appointment was a 5-year tenure as co-director of the Research Experience for Peruvian Undergraduate (REPU) Program. REPU sets up research-intensive internships in top-notch laboratories in North America and Europe for Peruvian undergraduate students in the biomedical sciences, chemistry, physics, environmental sciences, and nano-engineering.
Science has taken me to wonderful and unexpected places, for instance, I've been a guest blogger for The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings and the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB); I was selected to participate at the 2013 Physiology Course offered by the Marine Biological Laboratories where I have had the opportunity to work with leading scientists from diverse fields; I got to interview one of my favorite scientists as part of the iBiology Live Q&A hangouts series; I was even invited to be a panelist at Capitol Hill, DC.
I would not have experienced any of this had I not had mentors that provided me with knowledge and skills I used when the opportunities appeared. Moreover, I strongly believe that creating and maintaining networks are huge engines to materialize ideas. These are the two main reasons why I am so thrilled to be part of Clubes de Ciencia Perú. This project will create a network of scientists committed to the development of science, but most importantly, it gives me another opportunity to keep on providing tools to students in my country so they are ready when the time comes.