Heather Hennkens

Assistant Professor, Chemistry and MURR




  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Missouri, 2009
  • Ph.D., Inorganic Chemistry, Washington University in St. Louis, 2004
  • M.A., Chemistry, Washington University in St. Louis, 1998
  • B.S., Chemistry, Lindenwood University, 1996
  • B.A., Spanish, Lindenwood University, 1996

Professional Experience:

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Research Reactor Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 2019-present
  • Assistant Research Professor, Research Reactor Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 2011-2019
  • Staff Scientist – Study Director/Principal Investigator (2009-2011), Chemist – Team Leader and Study Director/Principal Investigator (2011), Bioanalytical Services, ABC Laboratories, Inc., Columbia, MO, 2009-2011
  • Life Sciences (2004-2006) and NIH/NCI (2006-2009) Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, University of Missouri, 2004-2009
  • Adjunct Instructor, Department of Chemistry, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 2004
  • Staff Scientist, Division of Radiological Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, 2000-2001

Research Emphasis:

The primary focus areas of the Hennkens research program are 1) the production and purification of medical radionuclides and 2) their use in the development of theranostic (combination therapeutic and diagnostic) metals-based radiopharmaceuticals.  Radionuclide production projects involve targetry, separations and target material recycling, while radiopharmaceutical projects involve ligand development, metal/radiometal chelation, and the radiochemical synthesis and in vitro/vivo evaluation of new radiopharmaceuticals.  The multidisciplinary nature of these projects results in a collaborative environment that offers a wide range of research experiences to student and postdoctoral trainees.