Sophia is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Manuel Amieva’s lab in the department of Pediatrics. Her research focuses on how Helicobacter pylori colonizes the gastric epithelium. She is also utilizing human gastric organoids to investigate population specific virulence factors that enable H. pylori to persist in the gut and often lead to gastric ulcers and cancer. Sophia completed her BS and PhD at the University of California, Riverside in the departments of Neuroscience and Nematology. Her dissertation focused on characterizing immunomodulatory proteins from parasitic nematodes as well as elucidating the innate immune signaling mechanisms of the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. Sophia is passionate about diversity outreach and has hosted events to introduce and inspire girls to strive for careers in STEM fields. She has also served as a peer mentor throughout her education thus far. Outside of research Sophia enjoys yoga, rock climbing and getting outdoors.