Dr Sarah Smith
This person is a member of Sanger Institute Alumni.
Sarah is a Post-doctoral fellow in the Virus Genomics group. She investigates host genetic variation in order to understand the biology of virus spread, host species adaption, and zoonosis. Sarah has particular interest in one family of virus restriction factors (VRFs), the Interferon Inducible Transmembrane (IFITM) proteins.
I graduated from the University of York with a BSc in molecular biology, during which I completed a year of research in the Gene Medicine group at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences (University of Oxford). I have subsequently completed my PhD on The Function and Genetics of the Host IFITM Locus in the Virus Genomics group at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. I am continuing my work on human IFITM3 as a Post-doctoral fellow with the aim of understanding the genetic variation that results in differences in virus restriction.
We primarily use cell culture assays to determine the effect of restriction factors on virus cell entry, using a range of techniques including fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry and plaque assays. We culture both replication-competent viruses and pseudoviruses to interrogate our cell-based systems.