5th August 2019 – Sarah Madden, University of Bath

Sarah MaddenHi everyone! I’m Sarah and I’m a research associate at the University of Bath, where I work on developing new cancer medicines. It is possible that my takeover of the Biotweeps channel may take the channel closer to the Chemistry-Biology interface than ever before!

I’m really fascinated in designing new medicines against hard-to-drug cancer targets, such as medicines to inhibit protein-protein interactions. These are especially tricky to block due to their large and often flat interaction surfaces. This means there are often no binding pockets for conventional small-molecule medicines to bind to. Instead I have worked on using medicines that are larger molecules, such as peptides and as protein-based medicines, as these are arguably better as sticking to and therefore blocking binding interfaces such as these. My PhD focused on developing a new approach to functionalise a repeat protein scaffold to act as a protein-protein interaction inhibitor. Previous to my PhD work, I carried out my undergraduate masters in Chemistry at the University in Oxford and a masters in Biology at the University of Cambridge. This gave me a good foundation and sparked my interest in this field.

I’m also interested in science communication and throughout my PhD I enjoyed taking part in wide range activities from stand-up comedy about my research to carrying out an internship with the Royal Institution in London. I’m particularly interested in carrying out science communication activities for groups that are underrepresented in science with a view to this helping to increase diversity in science. I have a strong belief that diverse teams are more effective teams and hope I can do my bit to help make them more prevalent in science.

You can find out more about my research and science communication work at the following links:

Twitter: @TheGingerSci

Google scholar: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=nvfSIO8AAAAJ&hl=en

Personal website: https://www.thegingerscientist.com

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