Dr Sarah L Spain
Operations Manager - Open Targets
This person is a member of Sanger Institute Alumni.
I left the institute on the 25th August 2021 after 7 years working with Open Targets, first as a post-doc and then as an operations manager. I am leaving to continue theology college training full time.
Sarah was an Operations Manager for Open Targets, an innovative, public-private partnership that uses human genetics and genomics data for systematic drug target identification and prioritisation. She originally joined the Sanger Institute as a post-doctoral statistical geneticist working on the genetics of complex diseases with a focus on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). In particular, utilising fine-mappng data to infer genes that are potential drug targets.
I have a molecular biology background and moved from the laboratory bench into statistical genetics during my PhD, which focused on the genetic analysis of the Colorectal Cancer genome-wide association study (GWAS). Since then, I have developed my analytical skills through two post-doctoral positions at King’s College London. I have worked with GWAS, Immunochip finemapping and exome chip genotype data for a variety of international collaborative projects in complex diseases such as psoriasis, cognitive ability and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
My scientific interests are focused on the genetic differences between individuals that confer an increased susceptibility to common diseases. In my research, as part of Open Targets, I utilised publically available and in-house tools to analyse large scale genetic data with the aim to identify target genes that may have therapeutic potential for diseases, such as IBD. I later moved into a research administrator role to facilitate the smooth running of Open Targets research projects.
Appointed Operations Manager for Open Targets
Appointed Research Administrator for Open Targets
Joined Jeff Barrett's group at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (Open Targets, previously CTTV)
Joined Michael Simpson's Group at KCL working on genetics of cognitive ability
Awarded PhD Human Genetics (UCL). Supervised by Prof. Ian Tomlinson (now at Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford)
Joined KCL as a statistical geneticist working with Cathryn Lewis, Jonathan Barker and Christopher Mathew primarily on Psoriasis and IBD
Started PhD studentship at Cancer Research UK London Research Institute
Joined the London Research Institute at Cancer Research UK (as scientific officer in Ian Tomlinson's Population Genetics Laboratory)
Awarded MSc (Dist.) Medical Molecular Biology from University of Westminster
Awarded BSc (hons) Molecular and Cellular Biology from University of Kent at Canterbury