Heather Minges Wols - Columbia College Chicago

Heather Minges Wols

Associate Professor



I am an Associate Professor in the Science & Mathematics Department, teaching courses in the biological and health-related sciences. My research has focused on understanding bone marrow plasma cell longevity. Specically, I've studied the cells and factors necessary in the extracellular environment neeced to support plasma cell survival.  In addition, I study how plasma cell metabolism works to support such a highly-secretory cell. My research has shown that support cells such as reticular stromal cells, as well as proteins such as IL-6 and CXCL12, are necessary to promote longevity. Further, plasma cells appear to use multiple metabolic strategies, suggesting these critically important immune cells are highly adaptable to the dynamic marrow environment.  Currently, I'm starting a new lab and area of research at Columbia College Chicago, focused on understanding the role of the microbiome in reproductive fitness of Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly).  I earned my Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology at Loyola University Chicago and completed my undergraduate work at Augustana College.

Instructional Areas

biology and health-related sciences

Creative Practice and Research Interests

plasma cell longevity and reproductive fitness in Drosophila melanogaster


B.A., Biology Augustana College 1997
Ph.D., Microbiology and Immunology Loyola University of Chicago 2003