Herawati is the Deputy for Fundamental Research of Eijkman Institute. She is also the head of Forensic DNA Laboratory and Principal Investigator at Genome Diversity and Diseases Laboratory. She specializes on mitochondria DNA as a powerful genetic markers for population studies. She has specific interests on fundamental information concerning the formation of functional mitochondrial in order to understand mitochondrial diseases and its diagnostic and therapeutic implications. Herawati also has big passion on studying the genetic diversity of Indonesian populations, particularly on its association with disease resistance and susceptibility as well as tracing human migration. Her research team is dubbed "Gene Hunter" and has been collecting samples from many places throughout the archipelago, including very remote areas. Using DNA markers, Herawati also played significant role in perpetrator identification of the 2004 Australian Embassy bombing case which subsequently led her to establish the Forensic DNA Laboratory in Eijkman Institute. She also initiates research on Indonesian wildlife forensics and population studies.
Herawati is an active member of various local and international organization, consortium, and scientific panel on forensics DNA, biorisk and biosafety, human genetics, and molecular biology network.
Herawati is an Honorary Associate Professor from Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Australia.