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Three UCA alumni chosen for prestigious science fellowship

UCA News

We all have science degrees, but just doing scientific research wasn’t enough for us. We were all interested in giving back to the community and use our science skills for broader, public access impacts. 

Dance Shows How A Coronavirus Protein Interacts With Its Genetic Material


But research wasn’t all Masson–Forsythe has been working on this past year.  Since 2019, she has been giving people a peek of her life in the lab through TikTok, and when she started working on the coronavirus she also started posting more frequent videos from the lab. 

OSU researcher uses dance to explain COVID-19


A deep dive into one protein’s interactions with SARS-CoV-2 genetic material, and communicating it through dance.

Deep dive into key COVID-19 protein is a step toward new drugs, vaccines

OSU News Room

Researchers in the Oregon State University College of Science have taken a key step toward new drugs and vaccines for combating COVID-19 with a deep dive into one protein’s interactions with SARS-CoV-2 genetic material.

2020-21 College of Science awards: Celebrating excellence in research and administration


Heather Masson-Forsythe, a graduate student in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, received the Inclusive Excellence Award for her vital contributions to many equity and justice and outreach programs that have brought recognition not only to the biochemistry department but also to Oregon State.

Episode 38 - Dance your Sci-Comm (with Heather Masson-Forsythe)


Heather Masson-Forsythe won the 2021 edition of Science Magazine's "Dance Your PhD" competition (Covid19 Category). She's currently in her last year in her PhD in Biochemistry & Biophysics at the Elisar Barbar’s lab group (Oregon State University). In this episode she chats with Danni Reches about her academic journey, her Covid-19 research on the nucleocapsid phosphoprotein of SARS-CoV-2, and her experiences as first generation and LGBTQ+ in academia, and in STEM.

Deep dive into key COVID-19 protein is step toward new drugs, vaccines


Added Manju Hingorani, a program director in NSF's Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, "This study underscores the importance of basic research in finding new approaches to combat not just COVID-19 but future viral pandemic threats."

The Discovery Files

The Ties that Bind

Researchers at the Oregon State University Biochemistry Department have taken a key step toward developing new drugs and vaccines to combat COVID-19.

Watch the winners of this year’s ‘Dance Your Ph.D.’ contest


The judges also selected winners in the categories of chemistry, biology, and social sciences, who will receive $750 each. They also crowned the winner of a new category created this year—COVID-19—which comes with its own $500 award.The winner of that honor is Heather Masson-Forsythe...

#LGBTQinBMB: Pride in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

"I didn’t fully understand my identity and start coming out until graduate school. I was lucky to be in a pretty open, accepting region of Oregon during this time, & I wasn’t the first or only person in my department to be out, but it definitely did change things"

#ASBMBSciArt: Science & Art Twitter Chat

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

"I think that the simpler you can explain a concept, the better you understand it. And having to deconstruct science so that I can build it into something new, has definitely made me a better science communicator."

Watch The Winners Of The 'Dance Your Ph.D' Contest Make Cloud Formation Catchy

National Public Radio

It's amazing to complete a Ph.D., but can you dance to it? Some scientists are getting their groove on to explain their research. An online contest offers them cash prizes.

Dancing through genres, biochemistry/biophysics student wins Science Magazine’s Dance Your Ph.D. contest

OSU News

“Scientific articles are so inaccessible to the public, they have so much jargon, and you have to know so much just to comprehend them,” she said. “I think the arts in general are really, really valuable on their own but also to communicate science, and as someone who really loves dance, I think it’s one of the best ways to communicate"

'Become the protein'


Masson–Forsythe organized the solo video like a scientific paper, with each section set in a different location and choreographed in a different dance style; for the introduction, she chose ballet, calling it “the basis of all dance,” while she performed the forward-looking future directions section as a hip-hop routine.

North Little Rock grad a dancer of science

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The dancer and creator of the video is North Little Rock High School graduate Heather Masson-Forsythe, a doctoral candidate in biochemistry and biophysics at Oregon State University.

In the nearly six-minute long video. Masson-Forsythe uses dance to show how the coronavirus nucleocapsid protein interacts with its genetic material.

See coronavirus replication explained through interpretive dance


The winner of the annual Dance Your Ph.D. contest​'s inaugural COVID-19 category twirls her way through the SARS-CoV-2 infection cycle.

Meet this year’s winners of the Dance Your PhD contest

ars Technica

As for the COVID-19 research prize, Heather Masson Forsythe, a graduate student at Oregon State University, won that category with an interpretive dance—performed solo on a beach, in the corridor outside her lab, and in the woods, among other locales—inspired by her thesis research on "Biochemical & Biophysical Studies of the COVID-19 Nucleocapsid Protein with RNA."

Un rap absurdo sobre clústeres moleculares atmosféricos gana el ‘Baila tu tesis' de 2020


La científica, que investiga nuevos fármacos que bloqueen el virus y detengan su replicación no es ninguna coreógrafa amateur: ha estado practicando baile desde que tiene 10 años. “Tenía que pensar en los movimientos de las proteínas del virus con las que trabajo todos los días”, comenta Masson-Forsythe.

Please Wear a Mask (Diving into COVID-19)

The Controversial Dive

On this science episode of ‘The Controversial Dive’ mckensea is joined by Heather, a biochemist/biophysicist studying COVID-19. The episode is intended to educate you on the virus currently plaguing society, while reminding you to please wear a mask, social distance, take the vaccine when it’s available to you, and be responsible. 

Scientist's Viral TikTok Quells COVID-19 Vaccine Fears To The Tune Of Megan Thee Stallion

International Business Times

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and for one biochemist, that means dancing to Megan Thee Stallion’s “Body” with COVID-19 vaccination facts overlaid. The viral video had accumulated nearly 360,000 views on TikTok within a day.

STEM vs. STEAM, why STEM Should Welcome the Arts!

Twist Bioscience

Honoring National STEAM day (8th Nov), we draw on modern influencer culture to look at how integrated arts could improve STEM engagement

Proteins run the show (except when they unfold and cause cataracts)

Inspiration Dissemination

Your eye lenses host one of the highest concentrated proteins in your entire body. The protein under investigation is called crystallin and the investigator is called Heather Forsythe.

The Versatile LC8 Protein with Heather Masson-Forsyth‪e

Chemistry Cayk Online Podcast

Chatting about the versatile LC8 protein with Heather Masson-Forsythe! 



Don't underestimate yourself. STEM isn't a special gift that some have and some don't.

Scientists reveal weirdest things they’ve done in the name of science

Nature Index

From sending cakes into space to filling their refrigerators with cat poo, scientists detail the bizarre lengths they’ve gone to in the pursuit of research.

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