Professor Marie Heffern in a chemistry lab wearing a blue lab coat.
Assistant Professor Marie Heffern. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Marie Heffern Wins NSF Career Award

Marie Heffern, assistant professor of chemistry, was awarded a prestigious CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) this month. The NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program funds junior faculty who perform outstanding research, are excellent educators and include outreach in their work. Heffern is the third faculty member in the UC Davis Department of Chemistry to receive a CAREER award in 2021.

Heffern’s work focuses on the role of metals on hormone function and the impact of metal micronutrients on endocrine disorders. With the new grant, Heffern will expand her research to include metals involved in plant signaling. “This award gives my lab the opportunity to take our expertise and skillset and apply it to an entirely new area for us, one inspired by the research here at UC Davis,” she said.

The CAREER award also provides funding for Heffern to establish a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) related to her work. In CURE classes at UC Davis, faculty and undergraduate students work together on original research.

Heffern joined the Department of Chemistry in 2017. She was a faculty scholar in the UC Davis Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Science (CAMPOS) and received a UC Davis Graduate Program Advising and Mentoring Award in 2020. Her research has been recognized with an Individual Biomedical Research Award from The Hartwell Foundation and a Paul Saltman Young Investigator Awards from the Metals in Biology Gordon Research Conference. She was named to Chemical & Engineering News’ Talented 12 in 2017.

Becky Oskin, content strategist in the College of Letters and Science

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