Kato grew up in a small, rural town called Kelseyville in northern California. After years of growing up on the farm with goats, horses, rabbits, and chickens, Kato moved on to bigger and better things among the onion crops and wheat fields at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. All too quickly, the undergraduate experience had ended and left Kato with a B.A. in Chemistry and the tools needed to make the decision to attend UCSB and work for his excellency, Professor Craig Hawker.
Arriving in Santa Barbara in the summer of 2006, Kato began working on making materials for applications in holographic data storage. After many months of successful synthesis, Kato began work on a project making nanoparticles by intramolecular chain collapse using isocyanate moieties. More recently, her work has focused on the synthesis of dendrimers and functionalization of polymers using the thiol-ene click reaction. Kato is currently synthesizing dendrimers for decontamination of chemical warfare agents in collaboration with the ECBC in Edgewood, MD.