Mark Heise

Mark Heise

Dr. Heise received his B.A. in Biology from St. Olaf College in 1991 and his Ph.D. in Immunology from Washington University in St. Louis in 1996, where he trained with Dr. Herbert “Skip” Virgin IV.  Dr. Heise then performed his postdoctoral training with Dr. Robert Johnston at the University of North Carolina from 1997 to 2000 where he studied molecular virology and viral pathogenesis.  Dr. Heise joined the faculty of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UNC in 2000 as a Research Assistant Professor and then took a primary appointment within the Department of Genetics, with a joint appointment within the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, in 2003.

Dr. Heise’s leads a research program at UNC that is focused on understanding how viral and host genetic variation influence virus-induced disease processes.  Dr. Heise’s research group has identified and characterized a number of important viral virulence determinants involved in host immune evasion and the promotion of virus-induced disease.  They have also identified key host pathways that play either protective or pathologic roles in virus-induced disease processes.  Since 2008, Dr. Heise has been involved in the Complex Trait Consortium, and in collaboration with Dr. Ralph Baric in the Department of Epidemiology and Drs. Fernando Pardo Manuel de Villena and William Valdar in the Department of Genetics, the Heise lab has been pioneering the use of the Collaborative Cross mouse genetic reference population as system for identify and studying polymorphic host genes associated with variation in susceptibility to virus-induced disease.

For more information on Mark’s research and selected publications, visit his website at


Jennifer Ho


Jennifer Ho is a Professor in the Department of English & Comparative Literature at UNC Chapel Hill, where she also serves as the Associate Director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities. She teaches courses in Asian American literature, mulitethnic American literature, and contemporary American literature, and her research interests are in Asian American literature and culture, critical race theory, and anti-racist education. Her most recent books are Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture (Rutgers 2015) and Understanding Gish Jen (University of South Carolina Press 2015), and she is working on a project examining her family’s migration from Hong Kong to Jamaica to North America and their place in the global South.

Carolina’s reputation as a top research institution is based on excellence in research and cutting-edge discovery and, postdoctoral scholars are a crucial part of the research enterprise at Carolina. However, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs knows how important it is for postdoctoral scholars to make sure they accomplish their professional goals, as well.

Our former faculty advisors share their thoughts and perspectives on Making the Most of Your Postdoc:

Doug Cyr, Cell Biology

The transition from being a Ph.D. student to a postdoc is often challenging…Successful fellows typically define clear goals at the onset of the postdoctoral period and become knowledgeable about what they need to accomplish to achieve their goals. Postdocs who simply treat their training period like a 9-5 job usually have difficulty in finding the job they desireread more from Doug Cyr

Charles Price, Anthropology

In the social sciences, a postdoc offers an opportunity for a respite between completing a dissertation and taking a full-time job. It’s an opportunity to work on building one’s vita, especially by writing and submitting work for publication, writing and submitting grant proposals, and by presenting at professional conferences. Lastly, the postdoc offers an opportunity to be more deliberate and methodical in applying for jobs... read more from Charles Price

Chronicle of Higher Education article on Making the Most of your Postdoc.