Dr. VanHeest received her undergraduate degree from Hope College, Holland Michigan in Physical Education. She completed her M.S. in Exercise Physiology and Ph.D. in Exercise Endocrinology at Michigan State University. Dr. VanHeest completed to post doctoral fellowships; one at the University of Cincinnati in Protein Chemistry and Membrane Transport and the second at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Body Weight Regulation, Obesity and Pediatrics. She currently investigates a before school activity intervention in overweight children, examining the physical, hormonal and metabolic outcomes. In addition, Dr. VanHeest continues to pursue research in the area of bioenergetics, women and performance. She is currently collaborating on research investigating the influence of energy deficiency on reproductive hormone status, metabolic status, bone health and performance.