Sarah is a postdoctoral fellow in the recently-founded Synthetic Genomics programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Sarah brings expertise in chemical and synthetic biology to explore new ways to study and treat genetic disease.
Sarah's background is in synthetic organic chemistry, which led her to pursue doctoral research in biocatalysis - the use of enzymes to produce high-value chemicals including drugs. During her PhD, Sarah studied protein structure-activity relationships using a combination of high-throughput screening and phylogenetics.
This research led Sarah to develop new interests in synthetic biology, whereby scientists can culture microorganisms to perform challenging chemistry and improve people's lives. Among the many applications of synthetic biology is the use of live baker's yeast to assemble large pieces of DNA. This allows scientists to build genes and even entire genomes from scratch, sometimes making fundamental changes that test our understanding of the central dogma of molecular biology.
Working with associate facuty Jason Chin, Tom Ellis, Patrick Cai and Kaihang Wang, Sarah is motivated to break new ground by bringing synthetic genomics to the Sanger Institue, and open up new avenues towards understanding our genome.
Biocatalytic N-Alkylation of Amines Using Either Primary Alcohols or Carboxylic Acids via Reductive Aminase Cascades.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2019;141;3;1201-1206
Chemoenzymatic Synthesis of Substituted Azepanes by Sequential Biocatalytic Reduction and Organolithium-Mediated Rearrangement.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2018;140;51;17872-17877
Imine Reductases, Reductive Aminases, and Amine Oxidases for the Synthesis of Chiral Amines: Discovery, Characterization, and Synthetic Applications.
Methods in enzymology 2018;608;131-149
A biocatalytic cascade for the amination of unfunctionalised cycloalkanes.
Organic & biomolecular chemistry 2017;15;46;9790-9793
A reductive aminase from Aspergillus oryzae.
Nature chemistry 2017;9;10;961-969
Direct Alkylation of Amines with Primary and Secondary Alcohols through Biocatalytic Hydrogen Borrowing.
Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English) 2017;56;35;10491-10494
Imine reductases (IREDs).
Current opinion in chemical biology 2017;37;19-25