Arcadia Magazine: Freshman Didn’t Wait To Join Faculty in Researching DNA

By Purnell T. Cropper | February 18, 2011

By Sarah R. Schwartz ’10

Sophia Japhet ’13 didn’t wait until her senior year to start conducting research with a faculty member. It took just two weeks into her freshman year for Japhet to make her way to the office of Dr. Sheryl Smith, Assistant Professor of Biology. Smith’s interest in genome sequencing provided the perfect opportunity for Japhet, an Honors Program student, to gain research experience.

“Sophia conducted research in my lab all year and presented her work to Arcadia’s Board of Trustees,” says Smith. “One of the Board members, John Affleck, was very impressed that we were using bioinformatics in our research and invited Sophia and me to the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, where there is a major initiative under way to promote personalized medicine through the use of bioinformatics. Both Sophia and I are taking part in a study to have our genomes screened for polymorphisms (variations in DNA) that might lead to a predisposition to certain diseases or a sensitivity to certain drugs.” Read more in Arcadia magazine.