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Sarah Knowler Graduate Researcher, Physiology Anatomy & Microbiology

Sarah is a graduate researcher in the Franks Lab for Applied and Environmental Microbiology, which investigates microbial community structure and functions at interfaces. The environment that Sarah’s project focuses on is that of the human body, examining how the microbes that reside within us, our microbiota, impact our health.

Together with collaborators within and outside La Trobe University, Sarah is looking at the gut microbiota in health conditions including depression, Parkinson’s disease and malaria, and the genital tract microbiota in gynaecological pathologies. Her work is funded in part by a Defence Science Institute research higher degree student grant. Sarah’s collaborators include teams at institutions including the University of Melbourne, RMIT, Deakin University and the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Sarah completed her undergraduate degree at La Trobe University as part of the Hallmark Program for high achieving students. This Program included a study tour to China, funded in part by a New Colombo Plan scholarship. During her second year of undergraduate studies, Sarah was awarded a Student Mobility Scholarship by La Trobe University, allowing her to spend a semester at the University of Leicester. In her honours year, Sarah was awarded an Honours Year Grant by La Trobe University and received the Francis Biological Science Bursary.

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