M. Heather West Greenlee

Title: Professor
Department:  Biomedical Sciences
Email:  mheather@iastate.edu
Faculty Webpage

Role in the ISU ADVANCE Program 

As the Equity Advisor for the College of Veterinary Medicine, I serve as the primary leader of college efforts to recruit, retain, and promote women and faculty of color. Through workshops I provide information and am available for consultation on issues including recruiting, hiring, mentoring, professional development, promotion, leadership opportunities, and departmental climate for all faculty.

I work closely with the CVM administration to identify actions and implementation strategies, and represent ADVANCE at the CVM Dean's full cabinet. I disseminate information and best practices via ADVANCE-specific and established college activities, and communicate college needs to the ADVANCE program. 

As the Equity Advisor, I also chair the CVM Committee for Diversity and Inclusion and work to coordinate the college’s efforts to create a safe and inclusive space for students, faculty, and staff to learn and work.

Scholarly Expertise 

My scholarly work focuses on diseases of the nervous system, better understanding their progression and developing tools for diagnosis and identification of individuals and populations most at risk for developing disease. 

Research Interests 

In collaboration with the National Animal Disease Center, my group has demonstrated that imaging the retina is an effective way to identify animals in the early stages of nervous system disease. We are now collaborating with social scientists to determine if the retinal imaging would be an effective screening tool to identify aging individuals who may be at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Motivations for Being a Part of ISU ADVANCE 

The evidence is clear, diverse teams perform better. For Iowa State to be an excellent institution, we must foster a safe and inclusive environment where all individuals can thrive. To me, equity means getting people what they need to be successful, and everyone’s needs are different. Being part of ADVANCE helps me to connect people with the resources they need and help leadership identify opportunities to build a more inclusive environment.

Greatest ISU ADVANCE Achievement/Proud Moment/Contribution 

We have just launched our first cohort of 10 students, 10 faculty, and 10 staff members who will spend the next year earning a Certificate for Diversity in Veterinary Medicine offered online by Purdue University. This cohort will meet twice each semester to discuss their learning, their experiences, and how they can apply their new knowledge to make ISU CVM a safe and inclusive space for students, faculty, and staff to learn and work.



Heather Greenlee