Bsc (Hons), PhD. Sara studied Biochemistry and Genetics at the University of Nottingham before completing her PhD in genetics at the same institution, investigating the sequence requirements for a functional centromere in the yeast S pombe.
After a short time at the University of Sheffield she returned to Nottingham and worked for seven years as a postdoctoral research fellow. Most of her work involved elucidating mechanisms of metal toxicity in the budding yeast S. cerevisiae which entailed work on many aspects of fundamental biology such as the cytoskeleton, endocytosis, iron-sulfur cluster synthesis and mRNA translation. In addition she identified phenotypic heterogeneity in isolates of wild yeast and subsequently discovered a new yeast species.
Sara was awarded the Chris Gibson prize for obtaining the highest mark in the English Law exam.