Dr. Heyn has a has a PhD in Applied Exercise Physiology/Gerontology followed by two post-doctoral fellowships in:
- neurologic and disability aging rehabilitation research supported by the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), and
- geriatric medicine research with emphasis in clinical trial and pharmacological studies supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA/NIH).
She joined the faculty of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in 2004 where she is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. During her Rehabilitation Research Fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, she developed unique evidence-based rehabilitation medicine methods and outcomes research under the mentorship of Dr. Ken Ottenbacher.
She has relevant knowledge on the evaluation of cognitive-behavioral therapies on brain injury, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease. She developed unique knowledge on how to synthesize and evaluate the quality of the evidence from clinical research studies. Her meta-analysis, The effects of exercise training on elderly persons with cognitive impairment and dementia: a meta-analysis, [learn more] is recognized as the #1 Top 25 SciVerse ScienceDirect: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Hottest Article.
During her second fellowship program supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIH), she studied the associations between mild cognitive impairment (MCI), metabolic syndrome, and lifestyle behavior. She obtained great expertise in designing clinical trials for frail and vulnerable individuals. Her investigations include the associations between exercise, sex hormone, diabetes, and cognitive function.
In addition, she has important relevant methodological evidence-based practice in disability research. Presently, she is the Research Center Methodologist & Coordinator for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for the Advancement of Cognitive Technology (RERC-ACT) funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. She is the principal investigator in two of the center's projects.
She has been involved in several international academic programs. Her research was featured in La Nación, Argentina's leading newspaper, after she delivered a keynote lecture at the 6th Neuropsychological Argentinean Congress. The Alzheimer's Association features her research on the effects of exercise on dementia on its Maintain Your Brain ™ - the Science Behind the Recommendations. Her research is frequently cited in various media such as HealingWell.com, View of Washington, ABC 7 News and other local and scientific news reports.