Sophie Burling

Sophie is an Intern with Matū through the Momentum Programme, working with the research team.

Sophie is currently completing a PhD in Biochemistry at Massey University, specialising in tissue engineering stem cell-derived models of neuromuscular disease for use in diagnostics and drug discovery. Her undergraduate background is in cell biology, genetics, and business law. In 2022, she spent six months at Massachusetts Institute of Technology based between the Langer and Tsai labs as a visiting Fulbright scholar, working to generate multicellular stem cell-derived brain and gut-brain axis models for investigating Alzheimers and Parkinson’s disease.

Sophie has been involved with the Momentum and Return on Science Programmes since 2019 and is now the chair of the Manawatū Momentum Investment Committee, as well as being a member of the Wellington Momentum Investment Committee and the Return On Science Medtech & Surgery Investment Committee. Sophie has also held the position of COO for Chiasma Manawatū and is an affiliate investigator of the Maurice Wilkins Centre.

Outside of academia and science, Sophie runs a boutique horse stud breeding jumping horses for top sport, and was a former competitive grand prix show jumper. She also holds her pilots license and regularly flies around her home stomping ground in the Manawatū. Having grown up on a boat, she loves being out on the water as well as hiking in New Zealand’s stunning mountain ranges. When she’s not in the lab or office she can probably be found on the farm looking after her horses and beef cattle, or in the dairy shed doing the odd bit of relief milking.