Favourite Thing: My favourite thing to do is to find out how humans “work”. It is amazing how a bunch of cells function and keep you and me going. Often we don’t think about it as most of the things are just automatically like breathing or the fact that it stops bleeding after you cut your finger. Everything is happening behind the scenes but it is there and – promise – that is not the simpliest thing to do.
Primary School ’89-’92 and Grammar School ’92-’01
From 2002 to 2007, Nutrition Science at the Technical University in Munich-Weihenstephan
I was a reserach assistant at the Rowett Institute for 18 months
University of Aberdeen
Me and my work
I work with human platelets and try to find out how their function can be modulated
Platelets are tiny cells and they don’t even have a nucleus. You might think they are boring cells, but wrong. Those cells are really important to stop bleeding which we scientists call homeostasis. Platelets do their job in our bodies but once we get them out in a blood sample and have a close look they start to tell us some of their secrets how they work, how they become activated and which compounds may inhibit their activity. In my PhD project I use several tests in the lab to find some answers to those questions.
My Typical Day
On a lab day, I get some blood in the morning and do the tests. In the afternoon I have time for data analysis or think about other projects.
On a typical lab day when I have a volunteer, I have to be a really early bird! My volunteers come without breakfast so everything has to be ready before they come in usually around 8am. Once I have the blood then I need to be quick to get all my tests done before the platelets become tired and then I cannot use them anymore. That’s my morning until lunchtime.
In the afternoon I have time to get the data into shape or take care of my volunteers or talk to my students – I have two students at the moment who help me with the lab work – or write a paper. I try to go home at around 6pm but it doesn’ always work out that way
What I'd do with the money
I’d donate it to the British Heart Foundation to provide educational materials for schools and teachers on how to prevent heart disease.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
enthusiastic organised honest
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Wise Guys – a German a cappella group
What is the most fun thing you've done?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
travel to Australia or New Zeeland – enough money to pay for the other wishes – time to realise my wishes
What did you want to be after you left school?
Honestly?! I had no idea. So I did a gap year at a German youth organisation, something completely different, and no regrets. That was a great year
Were you ever in trouble in at school?
Not really, I was kind of “boring” in that sense.
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
I learnt to take blood myself. Get the needles ready.
Tell us a joke.
TEACHER: What is the chemical formula for water? SARAH: “HIJKLMNO”! TEACHER: What are you talking about? SARAH: Yesterday you said its H to O!