Sarai Keestra is a medical anthropologist with a background in evolutionary biology and biomedical sciences with a primary interest in the natural variation in reproductive hormone levels and their interactions with the immune system. She has previously conducted research on the sex disparity in autoimmune diseases incidence, the influence of early life conditions on the timing of sexual maturation, and the effect of sedentarisation on the health and nutrition of mobile populations.
Within the Applied Evolutionary Anthropology group Sarai will be conducting research on the variation in thyroid function from an evolutionary ecology perspective. In this process she will be collaborating with the digital health app BOOST Thyroid, which is currently helping 30,000 users manage their hypothyroid condition.
Next to her academic studies, Sarai is involved in several civil society organisations such as Universities Allied for Essential Medicines and People’s Health Movement, where she primarily focuses on access to medicines, clinical trial transparency, and equitable research and development.