Heather Ward


Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles (Cellular and Molecular Pathology)
M.S. University of California, San Diego (Biology)
B.S. University of California, San Diego (Biochemistry and Cell Biology)


I teach non-majors human biology. My primary goal for this course is to inspire students outside of biology to be thoughtful about their own health and wellness and to apply this knowledge to their families, careers, and cultures. Students spend time learning the physiology behind multiple organ systems, discussing current research on diseases they will likely confront one day, and debating modern-day ideas related to medicine and technology. Laboratories integrate histology with functional assays and experiments, scientific writing, and a service-learning based project. 

My research interests are in the fields of immunology, health, and disease. I enjoy understanding the molecular and cellular basis of human immunity, particularly the role that microbes play in the development of immunity, as well as how immune responses themselves can be beneficial or harmful. I also have experience in the pharmaceutical industry where I applied my knowledge of immunity and immunological techniques to the development of novel cancer drugs.

As a non-majors instructor, I especially enjoy learning from my students about their respective fields of interest, whether art, philosophy, religion, economics, or other, and finding common ground between us. One of my favorite assignments asks students to investigate a topic in biology from the perspective of their major field. I welcome students anytime for coffee and donuts in my office and chats about life, learning, and their hearts.


BIO 108 Human Biology (and lab)