Sara Mole at our next BYO lunchtime networking event – 14 June

The sun is finally shining and summer is on its way. As term winds down for yet another year, why not find some time in your busy diary to meet some fascinating colleagues from different disciplines across UCL?

Join us on 14 June 2017 for an informal talk in our popular ‘Who am I – what am I doing?” series, from Sara Mole, a Professor at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology. The title of her talk is “UCL Women in Leadership Programme – my perspective”.

We’ll meet from 12.30 to 2 PM in the usual place: room 305 of the hospitable Department of Psychology: 26 Bedford Way, WC1H 0AP. Go to the seminar room on the 3rd floor. You can buy drinks and sandwiches at the Café next door to the seminar room, or from one of the many eateries in Torrington Place, or bring your own! Step-free access is available immediately to the right of the main entrance.


Sara Mole read Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, undertook her PhD at Imperial College, and two postdoctoral positions, one continuing her thesis work at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, the second back at Cambridge when she moved into the then emerging field of molecular genetics. She was appointed Lecturer at UCL in 1992 and has been here ever since. She is now a Professor.

At UCL, Sara has always worked primarily on Batten disease (aka Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses, NCL). In this time her team and colleagues have identified many of the genes now known to cause Batten disease. They continue to try to understand the function of these genes and the cellular consequences when they are not working properly. UCL has a particular focus on developing new treatments using approaches including gene therapy and drug repurposing for Batten disease. Unusually Sara’s lab is also exploiting yeast as a model organism to achieve these aims.

Sara founded the NCL Mutation database in 1998 and later launched the web site NCL resource as a gateway to enable those encountering Batten disease for the first time to have access to accurate information and expertise. Sara is senior editor on a text book on Batten disease, published by Oxford University Press. She is currently leading the BATCure project that brings together experts from 14 different institutions across Europe, including the Batten Disease Family Association as a full partner, half of which have never worked on Batten disease before. Their focus is on developing new treatments.

Sara introduced the idea of working under the Athena Charter to her department, the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology in 2008, and has led on its implementation from their first Silver award in 2009, its renewal in 2012 and their Gold award in 2016, together with co-chair Professor Rob de Bruin. The LMCB is often held up as a beacon of good practice within UCL. Sara champions Equality and Diversity within the Faculty of Life Science through the Equality & Diversity Committee, and tweets using #simplygoodpractice. She also serves on or chairs Athena SWAN panels. Recently she has been much in demand to talk about Athena SWAN and the journey to Athena Gold. Sara also initiated a new monthly network in 2016 known as UCL Women in Leadership which brings together senior academic and professional support staff who have shared a leadership development programme of the same name.

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