Heather Underwood

Heather Underwood is an entrepreneur and biodesign consultant for medical device and health technology companies. She has worked on a number of products in women's health, pediatrics, gastrointestinal medicine, wound care, allergies and ophthalmology. Heather was previously an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver where she helped build Inworks—an interdisciplinary, human-centered design institute. At Inworks, she developed and taught graduate and undergraduate courses in innovation and entrepreneurship. Heather also co-founded a nonprofit “biohacker” space, Denver Biolabs, to make hands-on synthetic biology and genetics education accessible to learners of all ages and backgrounds. Prior to Inworks and Denver Biolabs, Heather worked on several projects at the intersection of technology and global health. As a graduate student at the ATLAS Institute, she started the PartoPen program in Nairobi—a clinical decision support platform for midwives—and later designed a tablet-based labor monitoring system for nurses in India. Heather is also an avid baker, mountain enthusiast and pilot. 

Heather received her undergraduate degree in computer science from the University of Washington, her PhD in Technology, Media and Society from the ATLAS Institute and completed a postdoc in the Stanford Biodesign Fellowship program for medical technology innovation in 2019.



  • Kearney Newman, Ricky Marton, Janice Higuera, Aarjav Chauhan, Rona Sadan & Heather Underwood. 2020. Designing for Women: Radio-Based Seed Saving Education for Widowed Female Farmers in India. In Proceedings of the IEEE Global Humanitarian and Technology Conference (Seattle, Washington (hybrid/virtual)–Oct. 29, 2020). DOI: 10.1109/GHTC46280.2020.9342955.