Willing to Mentor

    Available to Mentor:

    PhD/MSTP Students

    • 1902

    Research activity per year

    Personal profile

    Research interests

    Nucleic acids are exquisitely adept at molecular recognition and self-assembly, enabling them to direct numerous key processes that make life possible. These capabilities have been fine-tuned by billions of years of evolution and have been harnessed in the laboratory to enable the use of DNA and RNA for applications beyond their canonical biological roles. The common thread that is woven throughout the research projects in the Heemstra Lab is the utilization of nucleic acid molecular recognition and self-assembly to generate functional architectures for biosensing and bioimaging.


    Mentoring and professional development are a key focus of the Heemstra lab. Similar to the students I teach in my classes, I recognize that the students and postdoctoral scholars from our research lab will advance to a wide range of careers. Thus, their experience in our lab should not only impart scientific knowledge and laboratory skills, but also foster their development as independent problem solvers and leaders. The core principles of my mentoring philosophy include:

    Diversity, equity, and inclusion: Our research lab must be structured with the goal of providing each individual with an equal opportunity for success and my mentoring must be sensitive to the unique perspectives, traditions, and needs of each mentee.

    Leadership: No matter what career path group members choose to pursue, it is very likely that they will find themselves in jobs that involve leading other people. I use research as an opportunity to help each individual develop the skills they need to be effective leaders for themselves and others.

    Communication: Scientists maximize their influence when they are able to communicate effectively in multiple formats to a diverse range of audiences. I have created structured activities to help the members of our research group develop and practice these communication skills. 

    Ownership: I view each member of our research group as a colleague and full stakeholder in our research program. Whenever feasible, every lab member is involved in key decisions and has the opportunity to contribute to lab policies that shape protocols and team culture.

    For our lab diversity statement and additional information about our values and current membership, visit: https://www.heemstralab.com/current

    Available to Mentor:

    • PhD/MSTP Students


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