Dr. Sara Sawyer was born in Olathe, Kansas, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Kansas. As an undergraduate, she did research on fuel cell technology being developed for use in battery-powered cars. After college, Dr. Sawyer worked as a drilling engineer in the oil industry, a job that took her to off-shore drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.
She then attended graduate school at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. There, she earned a Ph.D. in Genetics for studying cell cycle regulation of DNA replication in yeast. During her post-doctoral training, she worked with Drs. Harmit Malik and Michael Emerman in Seattle, Washington. She then served as an Assistant Professor at UT Austin before moving to the University of Colorado Boulder.
In 2020, Dr. Sawyer co-founded Darwin Biosciences, a Boulder-based company that makes infectious disease diagnostics.