Project Title: Role of IFN Kappa in Psoriasis-Mediated Diabetes Development
Position: Research Fellow
Institution: University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Funding NIH Institute/Center: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Grant ID: K99DK133828
Sonya J. Wolf-Fortune grew up in Cypress, Texas. She developed a passion for research throughout college at Prairie View A&M University (PVU), working in a lab learning about the immune response of corneal epithelial cells following infection. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from PVU, she pursued a PhD in immunology from the University of Michigan (UM). During graduate school, she became fascinated with studying skin inflammation. Her current postdoctoral research at UM furthers this interest by focusing on elucidating the mechanisms by which psoriasis promotes metabolic dysfunction, with a particular interest in epigenetics and structural-immune cell crosstalk. Dr. Wolf-Fortune is passionate about increasing diversity in science. Her efforts have included mentoring and teaching at community colleges with diverse student populations to assist in exposing students to scientific careers. Additionally, she is vice president of program development for Legacy Avenue Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on empowering underrepresented students as they pursue higher education. She is committed to teaching, mentoring, and establishing diversity-focused science programs that can benefit generations and assist in creating an inclusive scientific community.