Dr Sarah Montgomery

Postdoctoral Fellow

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. 

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