becoming the first ever female professor of astrophysics at University of Warwick at age 39!
Sandra was diagnosed with temporal lobe complex partial seizures in 1980, during her undergraduate degree at Imperial College London. Her epilepsy is now totally controlled. She does not need anti-epileptic drugs now but has had long periods (10 years) with poor seizure control and difficulties with medication.
Sandra is open about her epilepsy. She lives with her partner at weekends. She is currently Professor of Physics and Director of the Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics at the University of Warwick. This is no small achievement! Sandra has a prestigious fellowship that allows her to devote her time to full-time research, and she has an international reputation in her field.
Sandra says: “My story is a positive one. I am a successful physicist. I have travelled extensively and worked abroad (US, Japan and even spending a season in Antarctica). However, it hasn't always been easy! Good quality services for epilepsy are 'patchy' in the UK. I suffered for several years with poorly controlled seizures until I found a good consultant who was able to solve the problem.”
Please note: the photograph is courtesy Lucinda Douglas-Menzies (for more of her work, including details of the book and collection- Portraits of Astronomers- where this image appeared, see www.douglas-menzies.com)