Lab Members

Paul Heffren

Predoctoral Researcher

Paul Heffren spent the majority of his early life in Topeka, KS, where attended Washburn University, eventually earning BS degrees in chemistry and molecular biology. He got involved in research early, becoming a K-INBRE summer scholar after only two undergraduate semesters, investigating organic synthesis pathways for the production of an organometallic compound with possible biomedical applications under Dr. Shaun Schmidt. This experience sparked a passion for research, and this project would continue over four summers. He eventually contributed to various semester-long research projects throughout his undergraduate education. Under Dr. Susan Bjerke, he investigated herpesvirus nuclear exit. Under Dr. Takrima Sadikot, he performed Drosophila genome annotation in collaboration with a program at Washington University in St. Louis. Finally, under John Mullican, Paul investigated a previously uncharacterized potassium two-pore channel protein in Naegleria fowleri . Immediately following graduation, he spent a year with the Fontes and Swint-Kruze laboratories at the University of Kansas Medical Center as a research technician, investigating rheostat positions in a human protein using site-directed mutagenesis. He then moved on to a graduate program at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Bringing his passion for basic science, he joined the Zanders Laboratory at the Stowers Institute as a predoctoral researcher to interrogate the structure and function of meiotic drivers in yeast. He hopes to use the biochemical techniques and skills honed over his varied research experience to add a unique perspective to the group.  You may contact him at