Dr. Heidi J. Chial
Heidi received her undergraduate degrees in Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College and her PhD from the University of Colorado at Boulder in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Her graduate research using yeast as a genetic model system uncovered novel mechanisms by which haploinsufficient tumor suppressor genes may contribute to genetic instability in cancer cells, and also demonstrated a novel link between spindle poles and nuclear pore complexes. After a brief postdoctoral training experience at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, she became an Assistant Professor of Biology and Chemistry at St. Olaf College where she taught courses in Cell Biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry for two years. She then became a writer/consultant and scientific curator for the Proteome Division of Incyte Genomics. She then reentered the academic research setting as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Cancer Biology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine where her research focused on membrane targeting by human APPL1 and APPL2, a pair of RAB5 effectors that associate dynamically with early endosomal membrane structures and undergo domain-mediated oligomerization and phosphoinositide binding. At Wake Forest, she received NRSA funding and worked as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences and The Neuroscience Institute at Stanford University where her research is now focused on the neurobiological functions of APPL proteins and their role in neurotrophic signaling pathways associated with Alzheimer’s Disease, Huntington Disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). She has broad expertise in the biological sciences, including yeast and mammalian genetics, molecular biology, protein biochemistry, cell biology, FRET microscopy, live cell imaging, phosphoinositide-mediated signaling, cell cycle and chromosome segregation, cancer biology, molecular neuroscience, and cell signaling.