Welcome to the Heffern Lab!

The Heffern lab is a young, multidisciplinary team of researchers, seeking to solve problems at the interface of bioinorganic chemistry and hormone biology.  Stay tuned to our fun adventures in the lab’s early years!

Latest News

February 3, 2023 Big congratulations to Nate for giving a great exit seminar and starting his new position at One Skin!

January 4, 2023 Congratulations to JJ, Kylie, and Michael on their publication about metal modulation of oxytocin structure and signaling! Check it out in RSC Chem Bio here!

January 1, 2023 We are excited to welcome the newest Heffern Lab members, Samantha Ono and Jacob Padilla!

December 8, 2022 Jess gave a fantastic exit seminar! Dr. Jess San Juan will do great things in her new role with Carmot Therapeutics!

December 5, 2022 Check out JJ and Vanessa’s publication investigating copper-dependent inhibition of coelenterazine-based bioluminescence! Take a look here!

December 1, 2022 JJ gave the lab’s first exit seminar! Congratulations to Dr. JJ O’Sullivan–we are excited for you to join Carmot Therapeutics!

October 1, 2022 Congratulations to the Heffern’s lab first Master’s student, Chantel! We wish her well in her new position at Gilead!

August 22, 2022 We are excited to have Vanessa’s work on structure-activity assessment of flavonoids as copper ionophores published in Frontiers in Chemistry in the special Women in Chemical Biology Research topic! Check it out here!

August 5, 2022 Congratulations to Samuel and the IMAC team on their publication in Metallomics! Read it here!

June 10, 2022 Congratulations to JJ and Vibha for receiving awards at this years departmental awards ceremony! JJ was awarded the Raymond M. Keefer fellowship, and Vibha received departmental highest honors for her thesis!

May 22, 2022 Amanda is officially a PhD candidate–congrats, Amanda!

May 21, 2022 Congratulations to Vibha for winning Best Presentation in Chemical Biology at the Larock Conference! Fantastic talk!

May 18, 2022 Estely passed her qualifying exam today! Congratulations, Estely!

May 12, 2022 Congrats to JJ on his publication in Org. Biomol. Chem. Take a look!

April 11, 2022 Big congratulations to Nate, Hannah, Val, Jess, and Skyler for their publication in Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences! Check it out here!

April 5, 2022 Congratulations to our previous postdoc, Michael, along with his student, Sohee, and Jess on their publication in JoVE! Read about probing Cu(II) and peptide interactions here!

March 23, 2022 Huge congratulations to JJ for his publication in Chem. Sci. Read it here!

March 22, 2022 Congratulations to Sam for his collaborative publication with the Velazquez lab! Check it out here!

See more of our news and updates!

Stay Updated!

Check out our latest paper in @ScienceMagazine about the mechanism of #psychedelic-induced neuroplasticity. Fantastic collaboration between @UCDavisIPN labs @DEOlsonLab, @LinTianPhD, @johnalangray, as well as @MccorvyL!


In back-to-back weeks, we had @natehoharder then @vanessajlee8 deliver their exit seminars! While you will be missed, I could not be prouder what you've both accomplished. Thank you for helping me build this lab, and I look forward to watching you take the world by storm!


It’s a bit off cycle, but we’re hiring @coschoolofmines @MinesChemistry
Come be my colleague in beautiful Golden, Colorado! @Chemjobber

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