Heather is originally from Lindenhurst, Illinois – about halfway between Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI. She graduated from University of Wisconsin Parkside in 2008, where she earned her Bachelors degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She started her research career at Vanderbilt in 2009 as a research assistant in the Center for Structural Biology Megalab. In 2015, Heather joined the laboratory of Prof. Jens Meiler as laboratory manager. She contributed to research projects on the structural characterization of HoxA11 and structure determination of DsbB using paramagnetic restraints.
Although research was the foundation of her training, she took an interest in the administrative side of research. To improve her skillset, Heather attended conferences offered by both NCURA and SRAi where she received certificates in Fundamentals of Sponsored Project Administration, Departmental Research Administration, Leadership, & Financial Management. These helped her transition to the role of Manager of Research Programs. Heather has worked closely with the Crowe Lab administrative team for a number of years for the Symposium on Modeling Immunity in 2016, 2017, & 2019. In December 2020 she received her PMP certification. She is a current Project Management Institute (PMI) and Society of Research Administrators International (SRAi) member.