alumni Spotlight

Yared Kidane

I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and a Master of Science degree in Information Technology from the Royal Institute of Technology in... Read More

Sophia M. Orbach

Chemical Engineering
  • Program: Chemical Engineering
  • College: College of Engineering
  • Degree Received: Ph.D.
  • Year Recruited: 2012
  • Year Graduated: 2018
  • Advisor(s): Padma Rajagopalan, Marion Ehrich
  • Thesis Title: Multi-Cellular Organotypic Liver Models for the Investigation of Chemical Toxicity and Liver Fibrosis


Sophia received her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in Spring 2012. My research interests involve biological and tissue engineering. My Ph.D. research was on liver toxicity. She used the 3D organotypic polymeric model previously designed by her advisor's research group. This model emulates native liver architecture, which results in a better comparison to in vivo responses than standard hepatocyte cultures. She tested this model with a prototypic drug, acetaminophen, to verify the detoxification ability of these models. She further developed this technology to support high throughput screens for the liver models using combinations of drugs and to study liver fibrosis.

Some fun facts about Sophia: she went to summer camp for eleven years. She has ridden a camel in Israel – twice. She was an extra in A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas.

Areas of Research

  • Tissue engineering
  • Liver toxicity
  • Liver fibrosis
  • High throughput screens