Sarah O’Connor is Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA, at the Department of Chemistry. She received her PhD in Chemistry working at both Caltech and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she worked on the biochemistry of protein glycosylation.
Afterwards she worked as a post doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School studying the biosynthesis of microbial-derived natural products. She began her independent career in the area of medicinal plant metabolism, with the aims of engineering and elucidating alkaloid biosynthetic pathways in plants.
She is particularly interested in the monoterpene indole alkaloids from periwinkle and other medicinal plants, and is part of a larger effort to obtain sequence data for these plants that can be used for the elucidation of the biosynthetic enzymes.