Sabrina Sobel joined the Hofstra faculty in 1992 as an instructor of chemistry. She earned a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1993 after receiving a B.A. in chemistry from Pomona College. She is now a full professor and chair of the Chemistry Department. Concurrently, she has worked as a consultant for Godfrey Science and Design.
Her tenure at Hofstra began after completing the final two years of her graduate work as a guest researcher at Exxon. She admits that, initially, teaching was not part of her life plan. However, soon after she began teaching at Hofstra, she discovered that it was a very rewarding career that fit her abilities and desire to share her knowledge. “I am not a person who can work 60 hours a week with corporate demands and limitations.” An independent thinker, Professor Sobel finds the field of chemistry challenging and fascinating, and believes that teaching was a great career choice.
Since coming to Hofstra University, Dr. Sobel has created a new course for chemistry and biochemistry majors, revived an old course for the Math, Science & Technology M.S. program in the School of Education and Allied Human Services with a new custom textbook, and is currently involved in the creation of an honors natural science course with Dr. J Bret Bennington in the Geology Department.
Professor Sobel's current research project with Professor Harold Hastings began in 2000 and has seen significant progress, as evidenced in this article. Just this past summer, they elucidated the initiation process that drives the BZ reaction toward the auto-oscillatory state. Their research has gained acclaim in the field. Her early research is also of note: she collaborated with her father, Dr. John C. Godfrey (who is an organic chemist), in the development of a successful nationally marketed zinc lozenge for cold therapy. Originally, she did not think that she would be working alongside her father because she is an inorganic chemist — a different subspecialty. However, her father utilized her varied background and modern computer expertise throughout every stage of the project. As a member of the product development effort, Professor Sobel, along with family and friends, served as a test case for zinc lozenges before they entered the market. Dr. Sobel is enthusiastically continuing research related to the zinc lozenges, studying how added amino acids can affect the solubility and solution behavior of otherwise poorly soluble zinc and copper(II) salts, such as zinc citrate.