- Nutrition research
- Place of Work
- Plant & Food Research and Christchurch Hospital
At the moment she is investigating the effects different foods have on the levels of sugar in a person’s blood. This is important because the amount of sugar, and how quickly it is used by the body for energy, can affect a person’s health and weight.
I enjoy the freedom research gives me to explore things...
Get information sheet: Testing food energy
Sarah has also done clinical trails in a variety of other areas. These include looking at the effects of Mānuka honey on bacterial populations in the gut and examining the possible cholesterol lowering effects of adding soluble fibre to the diet.
She likes running clinical trials because it is an opportunity to see how products can affect real people in the community, both in terms of health effects and the way the products might fit in with their everyday lives.
Sarah says it is a great pleasure to meet and work with a large variety of people who all from diverse backgrounds “They offer some great insights into life and keep you focussed on what people want and expect from research and science.”
Get focus story: Future foods
Sarah studied biology in the United Kingdom and then worked for several years on a wide range of research projects – from plant biotechnology looking at large-scale production of plant products and their functionality to vascular medicine looking at improving the long term success of coronary bypass grafting through improved vascular cell function.
Some of the highlights of her work include observing operating theatre procedures like open heart surgery and travelling to conferences in different places.
After emigrating to NZ, Sarah worked in diabetes research before training and working as a midwife. She returned to work in research because “It could help answer questions like why things happen and what can be done to improve and change things.”
Sarah enjoys the freedom research gives her to explore things. Another advantage she has found in research is the flexible working hours. This allows for a life outside of work, which she finds vital to being happy.
Sarah has been in her current role running clinical trials for two years. Although it’s pretty much a full time job, she is also half way through a masters degree in human nutrition.
Sarah loves having time with her three children, and spends many hours taking them to their sporting events. She also enjoys running, and has recently taken up duathlons - so she is getting into cycling too. Another favourite is walking in the bush and being outdoors.
Not only sporty, she is also passionate about books and is always reading or spending hours in bookshops. And she loves travelling!
In her free time (!), boxing and combat training help her to keep fit.
- 14 November 2007