Academic Portfolio

EDUCATION

  • D.Phil.  1999 – 2003.  University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
  • M.Sc in Neuroscience.  1998 – 1999.  University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
  • B.Sc (Hons) 1st class. 1993 – 1996.  Neuroscience, University of Otago, New Zealand.

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

  • Freelance Medical Writer & Editor at Sarah McKay Science & Medical Writing. April 2008 – present.
  • Tutor, Graduate Medical Program, University of Sydney, Australia. April 2008 – November 2009.
  • Medical Writer, Discovery (Medicus International), Sydney, Australia. September 2007 – April 2008.
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Hearing Research Group, Neuroscience Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia. May 2005 – September 2007.
  • Conjoint Associate Lecturer, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia. 2004 – 2005.
  • Project Officer, National Breast Cancer Centre, Sydney, Australia. Feb. 2003 – Aug 2003.
  • Tutor, (Philosophy, Psychology, Physiology), Lady Margaret College, University of Oxford, UK. 2000 – 2001.
  • Research Assistant,  Radiology Department, Christchurch Women’s Hospital, New Zealand, Summer Vacation Project. Nov. 1996 – May 1997.
  • Laboratory Demonstrator, (Neuroanatomy for 3rd year Medical Students), University of Otago Medical School, New Zealand. 1996.
  • Postdoctoral Researcher,  Spinal Cord Injuries Research Centre, Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney, Australia. Aug. 2003 – May 2005.

 

AWARDS AND PRIZES

  • Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Research Training Fellowship, 2007 – 2010
  • Best Postdoctoral poster presentation. April 2006, Brain Sciences UNSW Symposium.
  • Reeve-Irvine Research Centre Travel Scholarship, July 2004, to attend Spinal Cord Injury Research Techniques Course, University of California-Irvine
  • Wellcome Trust Prize Fellowship, 2002 – 2003.  Postdoctoral fellowship, University Laboratory of Physiology, University of Oxford.
  • Overseas Research Student (ORS) Award, 1999 – 2002.  University of Oxford.  Awarded for academic excellence by the British government.
  • Wellcome Trust Four-Year Doctoral Programme in Neuroscience, 1998 – 2002.  Scholarship for M.Sc and D.Phil in Neuroscience, University of Oxford.  A highly competitive scholarship awarded to 5 students from over 300 applicants.
  • University of Otago Postgraduate Scholarship, 1997 – 1999.  Dunedin, New Zealand.
  • Canterbury Medical Research Council Summer Studentship, 1996 – 1997, Christchurch Women’s Hospital, New Zealand, Summer Vacation Project.

 OTHER ROLES

  • Secretary, Australasian Medical Writers’ Association Executive Committee. 2012 – present.
  • Newsletter Editor, Australian National-E Sailing Association.  2006 – 2010.
  • Student President, 1999 – 2000, Linacre College, University of Oxford
  • Student Newsletter Editor, 1999.  Linacre College, University of Oxford.
  • Publicity and Communications Officer, 1998 – 1999, Linacre College, University of Oxford.

TRAINING/COURSES

  • Australasian Medical Writers’ Organisation ‘How to write attention grabbing copy’, ‘Editing skills for medical writers’, Sep. 2012
  • Australasian Medical Writers’ Organisation ‘Technical writing skills’, ‘Writing for online media’, Sep. 2011
  • Feature writing for magazines 1 & 2. Sydney Writer’s Centre, Jul & Sep. 2010.
  • Problem based learning tutor development workshop.  University of Sydney, Aug. 2007.
  • ‘Statistical methods for researchers’ course. University of New South Wales, Aug. 2005.
  • ‘Communicating Science: media communications and presentation’. The Wellcome Trust, London, UK, Mar 1999.

PUBLICATIONS

Examples of my medical writing can be found on the portfolio page of my website:  www.sarahmckay.com.au

Bogaerts, S. Douglas, T. Corlette, S.M. McKay, H. Pau, D. Saunders & S. Oleskevich (2008). Microsurgery for cell injection into mouse cochlea. J. Neurosci Methods.15;168(1):156-63.McKay S.M. & Oleskevich S. (2007) The role of spontaneous activity in development of the endbulb of Held synapse. Hearing Research 230 (1-2): 53-63.

Doyle, K.L., Kazda, A., Hort Y., McKay S.M. & Oleskevich, S. (2007)  Differentiation of adult mouse olfactory precursor cells into hair cells in vitro.  Stem Cells. 25(3):621-7

McKay S.M., Brooks D.J., Hu P. & McLachlan E.M. (2007).  Distinct types of microglial activation in white and grey matter of rat lumbosacral cord after mid-thoracic spinal transection.  J. Neuropatho. Exp Neurol.66(8):698-710.  

S. Bogaerts, S. Douglas, T. Corlette, S.M. McKay, H. Pau, D. Saunders & S. Oleskevich (2008). Microsurgery for cell injection into mouse cochlea. J. Neurosci Methods.15;168(1):156-63

McKay S.M. & McLachlan E.M.  (2004) Inflammation of rat dorsal root ganglia below a mid-thoracic spinal transection.  Neuroreport 15(11):1783-6.

 

CONFERENCE ABSTRACTS

T. Corlette, S.M. McKay, H. Pau, D. Saunders & S. Oleskevich (2006) Microsurgery for cell injection into mouse cochlea. Frontiers in Otorhinolaryngology, Australia.

McKay S.M. & Oleskevich S. (2006) The role of sound-driven activity in developmental plasticity at a giant auditory synapse. Proceedings of the Australian Neuroscience Society 17 (41).

Doyle K.D., Kazda, A., Hort Y., McKay S.M. & Oleskevich S. (2006)  Differentiation of adult olfactory precursor cells into auditory hair cells. Proceedings of the Australian Neuroscience Society 17 (69).

K. Doyle, A. Kazda,  Y. Hort, S. McKay & S. Oleskevich. (2006) Differentiation of adult olfactory stem cells into auditory hair cells. Developmental Neurobiology Satellite Meeting, Sydney, Australia.

McKay S.M., Hu P. & McLachlan E.M. (2006) Patterns of microglial activation differ between white and grey matter of lumbosacral spinal segments below a mid-thoracic spinal cord transection in rats. Proceedings of the Australian Neuroscience Society 17 (162). Sydney, Australia.

K. Doyle, A. Kazda, Y. Hort, S. McKay & S. Oleskevich. (2005) Characterisation of olfactory stem cell-derived hair cells. Australian Stem Cell Conference, Gold Coast, Australia.

A. Kazda, K. Doyle, Y. Hort, S. McKay & S. Oleskevich. (2005) Characterisation of olfactory stem cell-derived hair cells. 15th St Vincent’s Research Symposium, Sydney, Australia. (Student Poster prize winner).

McKay S.M. McLachlan E.M. (2005) Differential recruitment of CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes and macrophages into sensory ganglia after nerve and spinal cord injury. Proceedings of the Australian Neuroscience Society 16 (12-3). Perth, Australia.

McKay S.M. & McLachlan E.M. (2004)  Spinal cord injury induces inflammation at remote sites in the peripheral nervous system.  ASMR 13th NSW Scientific Meeting.  Sydney, Australia.

McKay S.M., & Thompson I.D. (2004)  A role for visual experience in the development of receptive fields in ferret primary visual cortex.  Proceedings of the Australian Neuroscience Society 15 (151). Melbourne, Australia.

McKay S.M., Smyth D., Akerman C.J., Thompson I.D. (2002) Changing receptive fields and response properties underlie orientation development in ferret primary visual cortex. FENS Abstr 14, 007.17 Paris, France.

McKay, S.M., Smyth D., Akerman C.J., Thompson I.D. (2001) Changing receptive fields during development in ferret primary visual cortex. Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 27 (475.13). San Diego, USA.

Akerman CJ., Smyth D., McKay S.M., Baker G.E., Thompson I.D.  (2000)  Role for visual experience before eye-opening in the development of the retinogeniculate pathway.  FENS Abstr 12, 132.11 Brighton, UK.

McKay S.M., (2000)  Receptive field development in the primary visual cortex of ferrets.  Physiological Society Young Physiologists Symposium. – The excitement of excitable cells.  Oxford, UK.

McKay S.M., Duxson M.J., Sheard P.  (1996).  Possible evidence for electrical coupling between adult skeletal muscle fibres.  Proceedings of the University of Otago Medical School Research Council.  74(3), Dunedin. NZ.

INVITED TALKS

  • Invited speaker. Live surgery-Audiology Seminar, Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck and Skull Base Surgery/St Vincent’s Private Hospital.  June 2006.  Using stem cells to repair the deafened cochlea – characterization of new hair cells.
  • Invited speaker. Exciting Cells Colloquium. University of New South Wales.  May 2006.  Development of the auditory pathway in deaf mice.
  • Research Talk. Garvan Institute of Medical Research. March 2006. Development of the auditory pathway in deaf mice.
  • Invited speaker. Sydney Spinal Cord Injury Group.  February 2005.  Inflammation after spinal cord injury – evidence from animal studies.
  • Invited speaker. Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, April 2004.  Starting to see – the nature of the first responses in visual cortex.
  • Research Talk. ANS (Australian Neuroscience Society) annual meeting, Perth, January 2005.  Differential recruitment of CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes and

 

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