Sandra is a neuroscientist, with a first class Honours degree in Biochemistry from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and PhD and postdoctoral training in Molecular Pharmacology and Neuroscience at University College London, United Kingdom. She relocated from London to Sydney in 2000, ignited by a passion to use her basic science skills in neurochemistry to understand the mechanism of disease in patients with neuromuscular disorders – a group of devastating disorders with very few treatment options. Sandra became a postdoctoral protégé of eminent Research Clinician Professor Kathryn North in 2000, and began her own research group in 2005.
She is the Deputy Head of the Institute for Neuroscience and Muscle Research at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead (CHW); a large multidisciplinary team devoted to identifying the causes, consequences and therapies for patients with inherited neuromuscular disorders. Within the INMR, she leads the Neuromuscular Gene Discovery Group focused on gene discovery and genomics, and the Disease Mechanisms and Therapies group focused on elucidating the mechanism of disease with a view to developing evidence-based therapies.
Additionally, Sandra oversee the INMR research-based diagnostic service that is closely aligned to the CHW Neurogenetics Clinical Service who care for over 1,200 patients and their families. Sandra is an RD Wright NHMRC Career Development Fellow (Level 2) and full-time, research-only, Associate Professor of the Sydney Medical School.