Heather Dunn

Senior Lecturer
Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department

Office: 123 P&A Building
Phone: 864-656-2516
Email: walkerd@clemson.edu
Personal Website: https://dunnresearchlab.wixsite.com/website


 Educational Background

PhD Microbiology
Clemson University

MS Animal Science
University of California Davis

BS Animal Science
Clemson University

 Courses Taught

Vertebrate Endocrinology
Bioinformatics for Cancer Genomics
Physiology I
Physiology II
Mammary Gland Development
Comparative Anatomy & Physiology
Laser Microdissection
Stem Cells & Cancer Initiation
Global Professional Development
Contemporary Issues in Animal Science
International Study in Animal Science
Dairy Science Techniques
Animal Welfare


Dr. Heather Dunn is the recipient of the following awards:
CAFLS Undergraduate Teaching Award of Excellence- Over 6 Years Experience (2018)
CAFLS Undergraduate Advising Award of Excellence (2018)
Clemson University Bradley Award (2014)
CAFLS Undergraduate Teaching Award of Excellence- Less than 6 Years Experience (2013)

Clemson University IACUC Committee
AVS Study Abroad Coordinator
WAVS faculty advisor.

 Research Interests

Plasticity of cells and molecular controls that regulate epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) are our focus areas of study. Our primary interest is to investigate EMT by evaluating cellular signals in metastasis associated with the tumor microenvironment during invasion and survival. We are interested in fundamental genomics during normal mammary gland development, and how these early signaling events may be reactivated in breast cancer. In order to evaluate developmental signals, we are comparing mammary gland gene expression in the pre-pubertal swine to the genes expressed in human breast cancer profiles. Samples of young swine tissue were collected using the Dunn Biopsy method (US patent application #62/256,416). Using a bioinformatics approach, we are establishing networks to indicate similar gene expression patterns comparing our swine samples to human cancer databases. Our research combines animal science and human medicine to better understand cellular signaling events, particularly those that may lead to disease and cancer.


Evaluation of early post-natal pig mammary gland development and human breast cancer gene expression. Smith S, Stone A, Oswalt H, Vaughan L, Ferdous F, Scott T, Dunn HW. Developmental Biology. Submission ID: DEVELOPMENTALBIOLOGY-D-20-00221. In review September 2020.

Methodology to Identify Candidate Genes from Beef Carcass Traits at Weaning; H Oswalt, S Smith, B Williams, F Ferdous, M Burns, W Bridges, T Scott, HW Dunn. Animal Gene. ANGEN-D-20-00040. In review August 2020.

Computed tomographic measures of funnel-shaped lumbar vertebral canal and articular process dysplasia malformations differ between German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois military working dogs. Dragicevich, CJ., Jones, JC., Bridges, W., Dunn, HW. Frontiers in Animal Science. April 24, 2020. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.00275.

Methodology to analyze gene expression patterns of early mammary development in pig models. Moss, M.A., Williams, B., Ferdous, F., Scott, T., Dunn, H. Molecular Biology Reports. 47, 3241–3248. March 26, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11033-020-05362-1.

Bacterial and Viral Products Affect Differential Pattern Recognition Receptor Activation of Chicken Thrombocytes Evidenced Through RNA Sequencing. F.Ferdous, C. Saski, W. Bridges, M. Burns, H. Dunn, K. Elliott and T. Scott. Journal of Immunology, 2017, 199: 774-781.

Transcriptome profile of the chicken thrombocyte: new implications as an advanced immune effector cell. F.Ferdous, C. Saski, W. Bridges, M. Burns, H. Dunn, K. Elliott and T. Scott. PLOS One, 2016 Oct (e0163890). http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0163890

Ruminant Anatomy Photo Atlas, 2nd Edition. 2015. H. Dunn: ISBN 978-1500767600

Companion Animal Anatomy Photo Atlas. 2015.H. Dunn: ISBN 978-1500767631

An empirical framework for binary interactome mapping. Venkatesan K, Rual JF, Vazquez A, Stelzl U, Lemmens I, Hirozane-Kishikawa T, Hao T, Zenkner M, Xin X, Goh KI, Yildirim MA, Simonis N, Heinzmann K, Gebreab F, Sahalie JM, Cevik S, Simon C, de Smet AS, Dann E, Smolyar A, Vinayagam A, Yu H, Szeto D, Borick H, Dricot A, Klitgord N, Murray RR, Lin C, Lalowski M, Timm J, Rau K, Boone C, Braun P, Cusick ME, Roth FP, Hill DE, Tavernier J, Wanker EE, Barabási AL, Vidal M. Nature Methods. 2009 Jan;6(1):83-90.

Literature-curated protein interaction datasets. Michael E. Cusick, Haiyuan Yu, Alex Smolyar, Kavitha Venkatesan, Anne Ruxandra Carvunis, Nicolas Simonis, Jean François Rual, Heather Borick, Pascal Braun, Matija Dreze, Jean Vandenhaute, Mary Galli, Junshi Yazaki, David E. Hill, Joseph R. Ecker, Frederick P. Roth, Marc Vidal. Nature Methods. 2009 Jan;6(1):39-46.


Ruminant Anatomy Atlas
Companion Animal Atlas