Marie Heffern

Marie Heffern

Position Title
Assistant Professor

210 Chemistry

The extracellular space is a dynamic environment wherein vital organ-organ signaling takes place. It also hosts biomolecules that serve as current and potential biomarkers for disease states. Our research seeks to uncover the molecular players connecting metal micronutrients and metabolic function in this extracellular milieu. Our approaches and strategies sit at the interface of bioinorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, chemical biology, and metabolic biology. Our lab has a specific interest in the interplay between first-row d-block transition metals and hormone function, with longstanding goal of extending our insights to develop therapeutic and diagnostic solutions to endocrine disorders spanning diabetes, liver disease, and cancer.

Education, Awards and Professional Highlights

Select Awards and Professional Highlights:

  • UC Davis Graduate Program Advising and Mentoring Award (2020)
  • NIH NIGMS R35 Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) (2019 - Present)
  • Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award (2019-Present)
  • CAMPOS Faculty Scholar, UC Davis (2017-2018)
  • Chemical & Engineering News' Talented 12 (2017)
  • University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellow (2015-2017)

Training and Education:

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California Berkeley (2015-2017)
  • Ph.D. Northwestern University (2014)
  • B.S. University of Southern California (2009)

Representative Publications

Please see website for full publication list. Below are recent, representative publications.

  • Harder, N. H. O., Hieroniumus, B., Stanhope, K. L., Shibata, N. M., Lee, V., Nunez, M. V., Keim, N. L., Bremer, A., Havel, P. J., Heffern, M. C.*, Medici, V.* Effects of Dietary Glucose and Fructose on Copper, Iron, and Zinc Metabolism Parameters in Humans. Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2581.
  • Olugbeminiyi, O. F., Heffern, M. C., Sanders Johnson, S., Townsend, S. D. What Comes Next? Simple Practices to Improve Diversity in Science. ACS Cent. Sci. 2020. 
  • Stevenson, M. J., Janisse, S. E., Tao, L., Neil, R. L., Pham, Q. D., Britt, R. D., Heffern, M. C.* Elucidation of a Copper Binding Site in Proinsulin C-peptide and Its Implications for Metal-Modulated Activity. Inorg. Chem. 2020, 59, 13, 9339–9349.
  • Stevenson, M. J., Farran, I. C., Uyeda, K. S., San Juan, J. A. Heffern, M. C.* Analysis of metal effects on C‐peptide structure and internalization. ChemBioChem, 2019, 20, 2447 –2453.
  • Stevenson, M. J.†, Uyeda, K. S.†, Harder, N. H., Heffern, M. C.* Metal-dependent hormone function: the emerging interdisciplinary field of metalloendocrinology. Metallomics, 2019, 11, 85-110.