Dr Heffernan completed her honours program in applied chemistry at the University of Technology Sydney before pursuing a PhD in chemistry at The University of Queensland, Australia. Her research combines chemistry, bioinformatics and statistics to solve complex problems in the environment and human health, including monitoring common chemicals including pesticides and plasticisers in the Australian population. Dr Heffernan moved to the field of neuroscience in 2016, and uses her interdisciplinary expertise to investigate factors involved in neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration. She is a strong advocate of evidence-based policy and public engagement with science, participating regularly in science outreach, and is especially passionate about supporting and promoting women in science. Dr Heffernan was recognised as one of Australia’s most dynamic female chemists and named a Superstar of STEM by Science and Technology Australia in 2017.