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Scientists are Storytellers

Her Story

Scientists are Storytellers

In this episode, Julie Gerberding, M.D., Chief Executive Officer for the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health speaks with Sara Sawyer, Ph.D, Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder…
December 14, 2022

Scientists are Storytellers

Meet Sara Sawyer: 

Sara Sawyer, Ph.D. has received national and international prizes in virology. In 2022, she was awarded a Pioneer award from the National Institutes of Health, and in 2011 she was the recipient of the PECASE award from President Barack Obama at the White House. Dr. Sawyer serves as a Senior Editor at eLIFE, and as a consultant to the U.S. government on the topic of pandemic preparedness. In 2020, she co-founded Darwin Biosciences, a diagnostics company located in Boulder, CO.

Key Insights: 

Dr. Sawyer combines methods from bioinformatics, genomics, and evolutionary theory to investigate emerging human and animal viruses.

Growing Up During a Pandemic. Dr. Sawyer was 10 years old when the HIV/AIDS pandemic started to be described. Those images influenced the rest of her life and career trajectory.

From the Oil Industry to Darwin Biosciences. Her first career was working on offshore oil drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Once she got involved in HIV/AIDS research, she Co-Founded Darwin Biosciences to work on infectious disease testing.

Advice to Her Undergraduate Students. As a professor for BioFrontiers Institute, Dept. of MCDB University of Colorado Boulder, Dr. Sawyer tells her students life is about the pursuit of a good problem and the problem solving that comes from it.

This episode is hosted by Julie Gerberding, M.D. She is a member of the Advisory Council for Her Story and is the Chief Executive Officer for the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.

Relevant Links: 

o Read more about Dr. Sara Sawyer

o Discover Darwin Biosciences

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A Diverse Skill Set Peter McCanna is chief executive officer (CEO) at Baylor Scott & White Health, the largest not- for-profit health system in Texas. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,200 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care, as well as an array of virtual and in-home services.