Chemistry Student Presents Research to Board of Trustees

  Sophia Miotto

Sophia Miotto ’13 (Biochemistry) and Professor of Chemistry JaimeLee Rizzo participated in Pace’s 2013 Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Program.  They received honorable mention for their research on the synthesis of compounds to treat neuromuscular disorders, muscular dystrophy among them.   Miotto was invited by the office of the Provost to present the research before Pace’s Board of Trustees in the fall of 2013.

“When I was invited to speak, I immediately accepted. It was an honor to be chosen!” said Miotto.  “The board engaged in conversation about my work and asked questions about the physical synthesis of my compounds.  It was a great opportunity to present my research and discuss my findings in the lab to a non-scientific audience.”

Growing up, Miotto was enthralled by both of her parent’s careers. Her mother is a pharmaceutical chemist and her father a mosaic artist.  From a young age she was exposed to the two divergent worlds. Her fascination for both art and science grew, but over time she came to understand the magnitude of chemistry’s applications all around us and thus began to focus on chemistry as a career.

At Pace, Miotto met Rizzo whom she credits with having a big hand in nurturing and shaping her as a chemist.  Rizzo was Miotto’s organic chemistry professor and the first professor to make her question whether chemistry was the right fit. The class was tough, but it showed Miotto that hard work and dedication pay off.  

“Looking back, I owe a lot of credit to my professors who showed me the true appeal of science. I was very lucky to be surrounded by incredible scientists who reminded me why I chose science. My mentor, Dr. Rizzo, has been a huge influence on me as she was the first person to counsel me. She’s someone I look up to and admire,’ said Miotto.

Most recently, Miotto worked at Eisai Pharmaceuticals in the Clinical Pharmacology department.  She plans to work in the pharmaceutical industry for one year and explore the various options as a chemist before applying to graduate school.