Student spotlight: Sophia Kisling

Sophia Kisling

Sophia Kisling

We continue highlighting some of our outstanding graduate students. Meet Sophia Kisling!

Name: Sophia Kisling

Hometown: Cortland, Nebraska

Graduate Studies program: Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (IGPBS) – biochemistry and molecular biology

Anticipated graduation: May 2024

Advisor: Surinder Batra, PhD

What do you love about your field of study? Research is something that I’ve always loved. The opportunities to learn are endless, and every day is different from the last. Something I share with many researchers is a love for the heady feeling that comes when all the time, effort, and long nights lead to finding something that no one else has seen, especially something that could improve patient outcomes. Most of all, my research focus on pancreatic cancer is very personal to me, so there is a huge sense of accomplishment in knowing that what I do matters.

What do you want to do after you graduate? Writing has always been a strong suit for me, and I hope to find a career that combines this with my love of science. This might mean a faculty appointment at a research institution, an editor at a top research journal, or even a scientific medical writer at an academic institute. I am keeping my options open!

What is the most surprising thing you have learned in your training at UNMC? To my surprise, some of the most important things I’ve learned at UNMC were those that I learned outside of the classroom. Of these, the most dear to me is my appreciation for other cultures. Growing up in a rural town in Nebraska, I rarely had the opportunity to learn about and experience other cultures. When I joined UNMC, I joined a campus that celebrates a rich cultural diversity among the students, staff, and faculty. I have had the adventure of a lifetime by learning about the values, beliefs, religions, and music of my friends and classmates. The friendships forged by sharing and experiencing these facets of our respective cultures are the strongest and most valuable I’ve ever had.

What’s on your “bucket list?” Similar to my taste in music, my bucket list is constantly changing. The most persistent items on the list include going cage-diving, skydiving, and cliff jumping, visiting Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and South Asia, learning to surf, and seeing the Great Barrier Reef and the aurora borealis. I am looking forward to the next opportunity to check one of these items off the list!

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