Today we say goodbye to Sarah McMullen who is leaving the academic life to take up a post with the National Childbirth Trust. This is a great new opportunity for Sarah and a tremendous change of lifestyle and career. I am really excited for her, but I feel so sad that she is going. This is a glum day.
Sarah joined us at Nottingham as a postdoc with me on a British Heart Foundation project. That work went really well and generated some good papers and on the back of this Sarah secured first of all a Hypertension Trust Fellowship and then her lectureship here at Nottingham. Working together we have brought in a lot of research grant funding and have published 20 papers, some of which have attracted really high citations and are pretty important contributions to our field. On top of that there have been countless conference abstracts and a few book chapters. It has been a fantastically successful partnership. The time that I have worked with Sarah has been a real peak in my own career and I will never forget the great science brainstorms that we have had together, the highs of our grant successes and the horrible troughs of seeing some of our good ideas not being funded.
We have had a lot of fun together too (the picture is us at the legendary Casablanca Club in Budapest), travelling the world to various scientific meetings, meeting up with collaborators, grumbling at airports. Sarah has been an absolutely fantastic colleague in all respects and over the last 10 years she has helped me to make a lot of decisions about the direction of my own career and provided support when times were hard. She is incredibly wise, thoughtful, calming, intelligent, witty, caring, engaged, reliable… etc. Think of all the best adjectives you could apply to a work colleague and put them next to Sarah’s name. I am going to miss her hugely.
Best of luck Sarah!