60 seconds with our Senior Scientist Dr. Sarah Bauermeister
"My vision and hope is that BrainWaves will provide not only a mental health programme for today’s young people, but pave the way ahead for new discoveries and treatments."
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF – AND YOUR ROLE IN BRAINWAVES?
I am Senior Scientist for BrainWaves and a cognitive neuropsychologist and epidemiologist in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford. I work with BrainWaves director John Gallacher and I’m here to provide scientific input whenever it is needed by the team.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION OR HOPE FOR THE PROJECT/RESEARCH YOU WORK WITH?
Well, besides being an academic, I am also lucky enough to have seven children and a new baby granddaughter. So I’ve experienced the challenges of teenage years many times over. My vision and hope is that BrainWaves will provide not only a mental health programme for today’s young people, but pave the way ahead for new discoveries and treatments.
WHAT IS CURRENTLY AT THE TOP OF YOUR TO-DO LIST?
Right now, I am working on the selection of appropriate questionnaires for people who have opted to join our new BrainWaves cohort. They are going to become a vital part of the research work we will be doing, which is such an important part of the initiative. I’m making sure that important mental health, cognitive, lifestyle and social aspects of these young people are captured. This data will be key to the success of the project long term.
HOW DID YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
Besides my work with BrainWaves, I lead three programmes of scientific work, including Blossom which looks at understanding the effect of early challenges and problems on later life brain health.
At the same time, I am the Senior Scientist and Senior Data Manager for Dementias Platform UK (DPUK).
I suppose I have always had a creative and enquiring mind, so you won’t be surprised to hear that I have a multi-disciplinary background. I began in sports psychology, moved on to nutrition, then psychology before finally completing a PhD in cognitive neuropsychology.
I have been working for DPUK for the last 7 years and during this time, I have moved into epidemiology and analysis. Perhaps one of the most rewarding things I do is work with Early Career Researchers, leading the training for scientists at DPUK and mentoring early career researchers across the world.
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
The next generation inspires me to make the most of abilities and skills to find new treatments for mental health and dementia. Every day that I engage with my work, I am building a better future for my children and early career researchers. This is what keeps me pushing forward with my scientific programmes and working on projects such as Brainwaves.
IF YOU WERE NOT IN YOUR JOB CURRENTLY, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING?
Oh, I guess I’d be working with impoverished children in undeveloped countries, teaching them to read and write and providing them with the skills and approach to life that will give them hope for a positive, new future.