Jennifer Heerding

Jennifer Heerding

Associate Director

Dr. Jennifer Heerding’s 30-year career at Penn includes her work as a graduate student, a postdoctoral fellow and as the Associate Director for the undergraduate Neuroscience Program. She is a native of California, with degrees in chemistry from both U.C. Davis and U.C. Berkeley. She earned her Ph.D. in Pharmacology at Penn in the laboratory of Dr. Steven Fluharty, investigating ligand binding to G protein coupled receptors. She has taught Autonomic Physiology (NRSC 2269), Stress Neuroscience (NRSC 4469) as well as Behavioral Pharmacology (BBB 481) and Developmental Neurobiology (BBB 350), using her Rhodesian Ridgeback (“Bob”) as a topic of numerous hypothetical medical conditions and situations. Bob is amazingly resilient, having survived acute hypertension, hyponatremia and various types of pituitary tumors. Dr. Heerding also teaches online neuroscience classes through the College of Liberal and Professional Studies, including Autonomic Pharmacology (NEUR 2800) and Psychopharmacology (NEUR 4000). She has been named a “Hall of Fame” instructor by Penn Course Reviews and has been chosen three times as the recipient of the Neuroscience Teaching Award. Dr. Heerding was also honored with the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by Affiliated Faculty in 2011.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Heerding has advised students at Penn for over 20 years. She has worked with incoming students to explore their interests and investigate potential majors. She has worked with Neuroscience majors to plan coursework and discuss research opportunities as well as long-term goals. She has also worked with students applying for graduate fellowships through the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, helping with essay preparation (where appropriate) and applications. Included among the many students with whom she worked were 2 Rhodes Scholars, 3 additional Rhodes finalists, 3 Thouron Award recipients and 2 recipients of the Fulbright Scholarship Award. 

Selected Publications

Heerding, J.N., Yee, D.K., Fluharty, S.J. Identification and Function of Disulfide Bridges in the Extracellular Domains of the Angiotensin II Type 2 Receptor. (2001) Biochemistry 40: 8369-8377. 

Hines, J.F., Heerding, J.N., Fluharty, S.J., Yee, D.K. Identification of Angiotensin II Type 2 (AT2) Receptor Domains Mediating High-Affinity CGP42112A Binding and Receptor Activation. (2001) Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 298: 665-673. 

Heerding, J.N., Yee, D.K., Krichavsky, M.Z., Fluharty, S.J. Mutational Analysis of the Angiotensin Type 2 Receptor: Contribution of Conserved Amino Acids in the Region of the Sixth Transmembrane Domain. (1998) Regulatory Peptides 74: 113-119. 

Yee, D.K., Heerding, J.N., Krichavsky, M.Z., Fluharty, S.J. Role of the Amino Terminus in Ligand Binding for the Angiotensin II Type 2 Receptor. (1998) Molecular Brain Research 57: 325-329. 

Heerding, J.N., Yee, D.K., Jacobs, S.L., Fluharty, S.J. Mutational Analysis of the Angiotensin II Type 2 Receptor: Contribution of Conserved Extracellular Amino Acids. (1997) Regulatory Peptides 72: 97-103. 
Yee, D.K., Kisley, L.R., Heerding, J.N., Fluharty, S.J. Mutation of a Conserved Fifth Transmembrane Domain Lysine Residue (Lys 215) Attenuates Ligand Binding in the Angiotensin II Type 2 Receptor. (1997) Molecular Brain Research 51: 238-241. 

Raynor K; Kong H, Law S, Heerding J, Tallent M, Livingston F, Hines J, Reisine T Molecular biology of opioid receptors. NIDA Research Monograph (1996), 16183-103. 

Raynor, K., Kong, H., Heerding, J., Hines, J., Benovic, J., Reisine, T. Differential agonist modulation of the cloned opioid receptors reveals distinct cellular mechanisms of receptor regulation. Regulatory Peptides (1994), 54(1), 239-40. 

Heerding, J., Raynor, K., Kong, H., Yu, L., Reisine, T. Mutagenesis reveals that agonists and peptide antagonists bind in fundamentally distinct manners to the rat mu receptor than do nonpeptide antagonists. Regulatory Peptides (1994), 54(1), 119-20.