Sarah E. Coupland
I’m Australian and a bit of a “wanderer.” After some sunny undergraduate and junior doctor years in Sydney, I decided to move to the much chillier city of Berlin, Germany, in 1990. That’s where I undertook my PhD – and simultaneously where I learned German so I could work as a clinician. I did my pathology training shortly after, but, by 2005, I found myself, my husband, and my children crossing the channel to the even chillier UK.
Today, I live and work in Liverpool. I work as a clinical academic where 50 percent of my time is spent doing diagnostic work within the NHS; the other 50 percent undertaking research and administrative roles at the University of Liverpool. With support, I was able to establish the Liverpool Ocular Oncology Research Group (www.loorg.org), which focuses on translational and clinical research into adult ocular tumors. My postdocs and I have been quite successful in this somewhat niche area, having established a unique ocular oncology biobank that resulted in a range of national and international collaborative studies with clinical impact. Our lab has grown over the years, and we’ve trained quite a few students – and even consultant ophthalmologists and pathologists – in cellular, digital, and molecular pathology.
On the diagnostic front, I led the supraregional ophthalmic pathology service, receiving a wide range of samples from Liverpool, the UK, and across the globe. It pleases me to know that not only does my personal journey span continents, but my professional work does too. We work very closely with the ocular, medical, and surgical oncology teams located here, but we help to improve diagnostic and prognostic outcomes around the world. I’ve been fortunate that my career has allowed me to make a real impact, wherever I might wander to.