Sarah Shenow is Head of Research for MQ: Mental Health Research and has more than a decade’s experience at translation-focused research funding. Since her early days in South Sudan she has been motivated by improving the lives of those around her, and her career has focused on using research to do so. Her background is in academic psychology focusing on child development, with an emphasis on risk factors for later outcomes and mechanisms of social learning. After postdoctoral research, she moved to the Waterloo Foundation, where she set up their Child Development research fund, which focuses on neurodevelopmental conditions, helping tomorrow’s children through research, and today’s children through kg exchange. This reinforced the importance of viewing the whole person rather than a list of apparently disconnected diagnoses, innovative approaches to research funding, and the value of intersecting cultures and approaches – all of which remain core priorities.
Sarah has been at MQ since its early days, helping launch new research programmes targeted at creating a world where mental illnesses are understood, effectively treated and one day preventable. Her expertise focuses on building an umbrella discipline of mental health science that addresses key topics through a variety of approaches, and developing systems of maximally-effective research funding. She did a 6-month secondment at the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2018 looking after biomedical career grants.