Tendon Tissue Team: Sophia Bowen
Senior, Biological Engineering
Hometown: Sandpoint, Idaho
Sophia’s Hands-On Experience is Made Possible Through:
Durcan Scholars Program - Connecting undergraduate students in Moscow to faculty-mentored projects. Four awards annually of $7,500+.
When Sophia Bowen first came to Schiele’s lab, she said she asked a lot of questions. Along the way, she discovered not a lot was known about effect of cell density on tendon development, and that became the focus of her work in the lab.
“I really enjoy the process of continuing to ask questions and finding the gaps in knowledge,” she said.
Working to understand a family of proteins, Bowen has been using inhibitors to chemically disable how proteins tell stem cells what do and how to grow.
“I’ve always found tissue engineering and improving the human body fascinating and kind of seeing what things can be pushed, Bowen said. “Before you can understand where things can be pushed, you have to understand repair it when it’s damaged, and to figure out how to repair it, you have to understand how it was formed. It’s a lot of backtracking.”
Bowen is from Sandpoint, Idaho, and switched from pursuing an art degree out of state to return home and attend U of I in biological engineering.
“For me, it’s a huge sense of curiosity and the satisfaction of being able to piece together all the pieces of the puzzle,” she said.