Sara Sawyer is as Associate Professor in the BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is a recognized expert in “zoonotic” viruses such as Ebola, HIV, and Zika, which emerge from animal reservoirs and enter the human population.
Sara’s team has produced award-winning and highly-cited research that has helped to solidify an understanding of the evolutionary processes that underlie the transmission of viruses from animals to people. In addition to training the next generation of research scientists, Sara also serves as a bioweapons defense consultant with the U.S. government.
Sara has received several prestigious awards, including an Alfred P. Sloan Award, a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award, and the Andy Kaplan Prize in Retrovirology. She has recently been named a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease. In 2013, her research group was awarded the Omenn Prize for publishing the best evolutionary medicine paper of the year. Sara has been invited to give over 140 research seminars including at Harvard, Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, and Caltech. For her research and mentoring activities in 2011, she was awarded a PECASE award from President Obama at the White House.
Sara received her Ph.D. from Cornell University, and a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kansas.
In 2008, she completed postdoctoral training at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA.