After the graduation from University of Münster in Germany in 1982 with a first class Diploma in Chemistry, Sabine moved to the University of Oxford where she worked under the supervision of Sir Jack E. Baldwin and received her PhD.
She then took up a DAAD Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to work with Professor H. Gobind Khorana until 1988 before returning to Oxford to take up a lectureship in Organic Chemistry for 6 years.
She joined the University of Edinburgh in 1995, she was also a BBSRC Research Development Fellow from 2001-4 and was awarded with the Wolfson Merit Award by the Royal Society (2007-2012).
In October 2004, Sabine moved to a Chair in Chemical Biology at the University of Manchester in the Department of Chemistry at The Manchester Institute of Biotechnology.
Sabine received numerous prizes during her career such as: the Zeneca Research Award, the Glaxo Wellcome Award for Innovative Chemistry and the 2014 Interdisciplinary Prize from Royal Society of Chemistry for her significant contributions in biological chemistry, in particular carbohydrate chemistry and glycobiology.