Dr Sarah Finn-Sell Ph.D, FHEA

Lecturer (Teaching Focused)

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I am a Lecturer in Physiology teaching across MBChB, BDS and Biological Sciences (BSc & MSci) degree programmes. My research interests centre on the physiology of pregnancy and placental development.


I first became interested in developmental biology as an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge having had the opportunity to present my dissertation work at The Physiological Society annual meeting. I moved to the University of Southampton in 2008 to undertake a PhD in the Institute of Developmental Sciences where my research focussed on pre-implantation embryo development and the early embryo environment, in particular how glucose metabolism and glucose concentrations were regulated in the human reproductive tract throughout the menstrual cycle. 

In 2013 I joined the University of Manchester, Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre as a Postdoctoral Research Associate working on an MRC funded program grant with Professor Colin Sibley. The project investigated how alterations in anti-oxidant milieu and altered vascular function may contribute to Fetal Growth restriction (FGR) and addressed the efficacy of dietary antioxidants as a potential therapy for FGR.

In 2015 I returned to working on early developmental processes as a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Dr Edward Johnstone, Professor Melissa Westwood and Professor John Aplin on an MRC grant entitiled; Sphingosine-1-phosphate and vitamin D as modifiable essential mediators of human placental development. On-going work is assessing the effect of these factors on trophoblast dynamics using both in vitro and in vivo models (see Research and Projects for more details).

In September 2018 I was appointed as Lecturer in Physiology and have a broad teaching portfolio from placental development and function to cell transport physiology.  


Social responsibility

I actively engage in promoting developmental biology to the wider community. I have designed and delivered activities to explain aspects of my research to children and adults. Recent activities include:

  • Physiology Friday, October 2018
  • Before you were Born (as part of International Federation of Placental Associates annual conference), September 2017
  • British Science week, March 2018


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), 2018

PhD. University of Southampton, 2013

M.A. Physiology. University of Cambridge, 2008

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • The Physiology Society

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