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About the PI


Jennifer M. Heemstra

Professor of Chemistry

B.S. University of California, Irvine, 2000

Ph.D. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2005

Postdoc, Harvard University, 2007-2010

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Jen Heemstra received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine, in 2000. At Irvine, she performed undergraduate research investigating the folding of synthetic beta-sheet mimics, which instilled in her a love of supramolecular chemistry. She then moved to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she completed her Ph.D. in 2005 studying the reactivity of pyridine-functionalized phenylene ethynylene cavitands. After a brief time in industry as a medicinal chemist, she moved to Harvard University to pursue postdoctoral research exploring mechanisms for templated nucleic acid synthesis. Jen began her independent career in 2010 and she is currently the Charles Allen Thomas Professor and Chair in the Department of Chemistry at Washington University in St Louis. Research in the Heemstra lab is focused on harnessing the molecular recognition and self-assembly properties of nucleic acids and proteins for applications in biosensing and bioimaging. In addition to her research, Jen is also actively engaged in science communication, outreach, and advocacy via her social media presence, and professional development seminars and workshops.

Outside of work, Jen enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, as well as rock climbing, cycling, and running. You can check out her blog here.

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