AAAS Fellows in front of the U.S. Capitol building

NSF AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellows


Photo of Dr. Heather Masson Forsythe
Credit: National Science Foundation


Dr. Heather Masson-Forsythe
AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow
Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering
Office of the Assistant Director

Class of 2022–2023

Dr. Heather Masson-Forsythe completed her Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics at Oregon State University in 2021. During her Ph.D., Masson-Forsythe used a variety of molecular biology and biophysical methods, particularly nuclear magnetic resonance, to answer biological questions related to cataracts and COVID-19. She also spent one year as a Ph.D. research and development intern in Hewlett-Packard's microfluidics lab contributing to the company's growing healthcare and life sciences product development. 

Masson-Forsythe's greatest claim to fame to date is turning her Ph.D. work into a dance performance, winning the COVID-19 category in the 2021 Dance Your Ph.D. contest. She is passionate about effective science communication, and in an effort to make science available to increasingly more diverse members of the community, she has also used dance to create hundreds of TikTok videos discussing science and science culture. On the popular social media app, she quickly accumulated over fifty-thousand followers, earning her recognition in Forbes and International Business Times. Throughout her graduate work, Masson-Forsythe also worked on Inspiration Dissemination, a live radio show, podcast and blog, interviewing Oregon State University graduate students about their research and career paths. She is also a contributing writer for ASBMB Today, the member magazine for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In her free time, Masson-Forsythe continues dancing, and is an ardent traveler, hiker, rock climber, karaoke singer, and dog mom to her epileptic mini Australian shepherd.