Sam received a first class honours degree in biochemistry from the University of Otago, New Zealand (2000), and his PhD in biophysics from the Australian National University (2004). He then spent a year at Stockholm University as a Wenner-Gren visiting postdoctoral fellow (2004-2005) before moving to the University of Manchester to work with Nigel Scrutton as a postdoctoral research associate. Sam was a recipient of the RSC Rita and John Cornforth Award in 2009 and in 2010 he received a BBSRC David Phillips fellowship, which allowed him to establish an independent research group. In 2014, he was made a lecturer.
Sam is interested in how biological processes – reactions and interactions – are governed by their underlying physics. The main focus of this work is the role of quantum mechanics during enzyme catalysis. This work employs both experimental and theoretical approaches, with an emphasis on instrument and method development and the development of new theory and models to underpin experiment.