Sophie Lutterlough began working at the Smithsonian as an elevator operator. In the course of her duties, she developed a rapport with Dr. J. F. Gates Clark, a curator in the entomology department. He hired her as an insect preparator in 1957. By 1959, she was promoted to research assistant to curator Ralph Crabill. She mainly worked on species like millipedes and centipedes, but also did extensive restoration work for the tick collection. Her academic accomplishments during her 40 years at the museum were recognized with an Exemplary Service award upon her retirement in 1983. A few years prior, in 1979, a tick species was named after her, Pygmephorus lutterloughae.