Sophie Zhang

Sophie is a rising senior at Skyline High School. In school, she is an IB Diploma Candidate. She enjoys science and explores her passion as president of Skyline’s Biology Club and director of communications of Skyline’s Science National Honor Society. She spends her free time volunteering at Swedish Hospital and playing soccer. She loves to go hiking and is a huge foodie. Please let her know of any good restaurants, as well as hikes and trails in the Greater Seattle Area!

At ISB, she worked with her partner Jin Ah to optimize Reverse Transcription Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP) primers for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) survivability genes in the Baliga Lab under their mentors Dr. Eliza Peterson and Julie Do. LAMP amplifies DNA at a cheaper and more efficient rate than PCR. The quantified gene expression data from the RT-LAMP test is used by Drug Response Assayer (DRonA), a machine learning algorithm, to predict Mtb viability after drug treatments. They also worked with halobacteria, which is not actually bacteria, but rather part of the domain archaea. They tested the effect of various conditions simulating the Martian environment on haloarchaea’s growth to learn more about whether life could survive on Mars.