- Research Program Mentor
PhD candidate at University of Toronto, St. George Campus
cell and molecular biology, genetics, gene therapy
BioHi! I'm Sophie. I am a PhD student in the Molecular Genetics department at the University of Toronto. I work under Dr. James Dowling, a physician scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children. My research focuses on the effects of myotubular myopathy, a pediatric muscle disease, on the liver. I use zebrafish and human iPSC-derived liver cells as models to study this disease and hopefully help patients! I am especially interested in the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms causing this disease. Previously, I completed a Bachelor's degree at Wesleyan University in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. While there, I had two summer internships at CRISPR Therapeutics, a gene editing company in Cambridge, MA, and worked in the MacQueen lab studying yeast genetics. When I'm not busy with school and science, I love to spend time outdoors, either hiking, backpacking, or rock climbing. I also played volleyball in college and continue to play both beach and indoor. I also love mentoring the next generation of scientists and helping others reach their scientific aspirations through thoughtful questions and supportive feedback!
The Ethics of Human Gene Editing
The discovery of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing has led to a flurry of research advances, many of which have people both excited and terrified at the possibilities. In this project, you will research the ethical questions involved in gene editing technology and learn about the guidelines different governing bodies have adapted to address gene-editing research. What's the difference between in vivo and ex vivo, or somatic and germline editing? You could finish by writing a review article, or by developing a set of ethical frameworks by which to categorize new gene-editing advances.
What is Essential?
A biological process is like a machine. Some parts of it are essential for the machine to function, while others are not required, just useful. Using a simple genetic model like bacteria or yeast, you can mutate genes involved in a particular biological process to determine which are essential for its function and which are not.