Adam Heck, PhD 2019 – MIP

spotlight submission                                      
Adam Heck, PhD – 2019

Adam Heck finished his Ph.D. in Carol Wilusz’s lab in 2019.  His dissertation focused on understanding how regulation of gene expression via RNA-binding proteins modulates pluripotency/differentiation in stem cells. Adam has moved from the CMB program to a postdoc position in Brandon Hadland’s lab.


Can you say a little bit about your current job/research?

My new position is with Brandon Hadland’s lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. During my postdoc, I will be applying the knowledge and experience in stem cell biology and computational techniques I gained during my PhD to understand the molecular mechanisms that drive the development of hematopoietic stem cells. Specifically, I will be using single-cell RNA sequencing techniques to try to identify novel factors that play a role in this process.

What attracted you to the CMB Program at CSU?

I’m an avid outdoorsman and snowboarder, so Colorado was always on my list of places to go to school. I really liked the interdisciplinary aspect of CMB because i). I was not 100% sure what field of research I wanted to pursue and ii). I really enjoy talking and learning about people’s research that is different than my one.

How have you used the training you received through CMB?

So far I’ve been using my computational training from CMB and GAUSSI to analyze single-cell RNA sequencing to identify genes that are differentially expressed over the course of hematopoietic development.

Do you have any favorite memories from your time at CSU?

I really enjoyed the time spent with my lab mates and cohort, our talks in general about life and discussing science, occasionally over beers.

What advice do you have for a new CMB graduate student?

Get in, work hard and enjoy your time as a graduate student and in Colorado.

What do you miss most about CSU and Fort Collins?

The thing I miss the most is all of the great people I met during my time at CSU. From mentors, to fellow graduate students/lab members and friends. Seeing as how we moved to Seattle, I also miss the sun a bit.

Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?

My goal is to run my own lab. Whether that is in the academic or industry setting I’ll have to see how the cards fall.