Sara Kawamura: humanitarian and medical work

Sara tells us about her achievements since graduation

“Since graduating, I have published a paper in neuroscience in the UK in October 2017, volunteered at the frontline of a refugee crisis on a small island in Greece, trained as a medical technologist in Jordan and I am currently taking an online course with Harvard University and Curtin University.”

Sara Kawamura
Sara Kawamura volunteering in Greece

Sara Kawamura graduated from BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science in 2017. She is currently living in Jordan.

This is Sara's story

I published a paper in Neuroscience in the UK in October 2017

“During my final year, I did my dissertation with Dr Stephen Thompson in neuroscience. One day during lab work, I saw a structure under the microscope that I have never seen before. I called in the lab technician, she has never seen it, so I emailed Dr Thompson. One week later, he came to see my slides, got so excited and said that it was a discovery! Then, I worked very hard since and produced a paper worthy of publication. Without the support and the flexibility of the University, I honestly would not have had such a great accomplishment under my name. I was also nominated to present my findings at the 'European Association for Professions in Biomedical Science (EPBS) Student Poster Award' in Salzburg, Austria.”

Volunteered at the frontline of a refugee crisis on a small island in Greece in November 2017

“I went to Chios Island in Greece for a month to volunteer for a local team called Chios Eastern Shore Response Team (CESRT). I worked alongside Advocates Abroad, Frontex, SMH doctors and UNHCR, at the frontline of the Syrian, Afghan and Iraqi refugee crisis. My work there included supporting and monitoring community protection and health programs in Chios City and Vial Refugee Camp, translation and interpretation. I was on call for refugee boat landings and providing immediate care and first aid as well as successfully developing statistical campaigns for international donors, increasing donations to CESRT.”

Trained as a medical technologist in Jordan in January 2018

“I was a trainee at Biolab, Jordan where I trained to perform venipunctures, as well as performing chemical, hematological, immunological, histopathological, cytopathological, microscopic, and bacteriological diagnostic analyses on body fluids.” 

Online courses from March 2018

“I have started two online courses. The first is a five-week course on 'Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster' with Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA. The second is a three-month course on 'Human Rights and Development' with Curtin University, Perth, Australia. 
“While doing the two online courses, I am also applying for jobs, either lab-based or NGO jobs, and wish to do a masters in Global Health and Development in two years’ time.
“In the long run, I am hoping to work at a health sector of an NGO, hence my current involvement in both the humanitarian world and the medical world.”
“The University is still growing. You are able to get all the opportunities you wish for, and they will support your projects. If it wasn’t for the University giving me an opportunity, I wouldn’t already have a neuroscience publication under my name.”
Sara Kawamura
Sara Kawamura at graduation


“The most difficult thing I faced in my career has been finding a job. I would advise researching more about job applications: be determined and look for employers before graduation.”

…and opportunities

“Studying at Plymouth gave me many opportunities to do projects on my own. My favourites memories of studying at Plymouth are friends, events, and amazing supervisors in my final year. I stay in touch with all of my friends, and my final-year project supervisor.
“The best thing that I have done in my career is meeting people from many disciplines.”

Choosing Plymouth

“As time passed, I started making the most amazing friends who have become family to me. Plymouth is a smaller city, but I started to love it because I could easily go and meet up with friends whenever I wanted. No need to plan, no need for transportation hassle, just text your friends and you could meet up in five minutes! 
“The campus is just across the road from the city centre, and the beautiful cliffs along the sea were just five minutes’ walk from the city centre. Honestly, what better way to make lifelong friends.”

Follow in Sara's footsteps

Researcher looking down a microscope in a laboratory 
Experience research-informed education by exploring the scientific basis of human health, disease and therapeutics. 
You'll benefit from a rich and varied learning environment that highlights recent developments and examines how these inform clinical and diagnostic practice. Receive the input of internationally-recognised researchers and NHS staff and open up a range of employment opportunities in both industrial and public research laboratories.

Study BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science