SOFIA TOMOV- A LIGHTBULB MOMENT

Greetings, Science Enthusiasts!

I’ve always been interested in nature and science. One of my greatest joys as a young child was coaxing Painted Lady butterflies to land on my fingers, and cupping flashing fireflies in my hands.

This joy led me to my first science project when I was eight years old, titled “Butterflies in Space” -- a comparison of caterpillar development on Earth and on the International Space Station.

Last summer, my aunt was hospitalized from prescription drug side effects. As I wondered if her reaction could have been prevented, I realized that doctors have no way to tell how their patients will respond to a drug.

We’ve all seen the ads for prescription drugs and the pages of side effects ranging from dizziness to death. After seeing one of these ads, I had my “lightbulb moment.”

My science teacher -- who is also my mother -- introduced me to the challenge. I realized that this was an excellent opportunity for me to share my project and hopefully secure a mentorship with a 3M scientist.  After I submitted my entry, I began searching for summer internships to develop my project. As I was researching local internships, I received the phone call and was thrilled to become a finalist.

I am really excited for the opportunity to develop my project with 3M scientist Mr. John Henderson. As inventor Charles Kettering said, “A problem well stated is a problem half-solved.”

The problem I'm focusing on for my project is variable response to prescription drugs. Anyone can be a problem solver!

Happy problem solving!

Signing off,

Sofia