Sana Zakaria (she/her) is a research leader at the RAND Corporation. Working in science and emerging technology at RAND Europe, her research interests and experience span the fields of Research and Development ecosystem and Emerging biotechnologies converging with other sectors like machine learning and quantum technologies. She is currently leading RAND Europe's Biotechnology policy research focussing on synthetic biology, biosurveillance, advances in ML and genome editing, food systems, and brain computer interfacing.
Before joining RAND, she was the Head of Impact at NIHR leading on a complex portfolio of research on research, impact literacy and capacity building, delivering projects such as assessing the value of national experimental medicine infrastructure and charting NIHR's pathway to maximising impact as a funder. Previous to this, she headed up the Strategic Performance and Impact function at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), where she was responsible for developing an organisational outcomes framework for evidencing its strategy objectives. She commissioned as well as delivered major healthcare intervention evaluations for the BHF and conducted a major policy review of provision for community-based genetic testing for familial hypercholesterolemia, to influence decision making in the NHS on service provision.
For a decade, Zakaria has worked across the public and third sector in areas spanning health policy, public health interventions, research impact assessments and evaluation as well as organisational strategy development.
Zakaria has a Ph.D. in developmental neurobiology from Guys' Hospital King's College London where she also carried out post-doctoral work.