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It is with sadness that we mourn the loss of Heidi Dvinge, who passed away unexpectedly in September. Our thoughts are with Heidi’s family and friends at this difficult time.
One morning at EMBL-EBI, there was a spider on my desk. But it wasn’t a real one: it was made of a chocolate chip cookie and some extra bits of chocolate, very artfully arranged into a spider shape. This came after a discussion among predocs the day before. We had been talking about phobias and idly speculating whether they might be cured by some sort of ‘reverse fear conditioning’, where the phobic stimulus is paired with something the subject really likes – for instance, a spider made of chocolate. And there it was the next day, on my desk: a chocolate spider. The person who put it there was, of course, Heidi. Heidi with her sense of humour, her creativity, her wit, and her kindness. It is such a small story, but it so perfectly encapsulates who she was. Even now it makes me smile.
When I think of Heidi, I think of a light – bright and warm. I think of our endless discussions, not just about science, but also about literature, and society, and self-care. Her sense of humour. Her thoughtfulness. Her acts of kindness, big and small. How engaging her seminars and presentations were. How she would listen seriously and attentively and offer excellent advice. How she would cycle to EMBL-EBI and then change into some fabulous shoes that she kept at her desk.
It is difficult to imagine a world without Heidi. As we are coming to terms with the devastating news of her passing, my heart goes out to her friends and family, and to everyone who loved her. She will be sorely missed.
Melanie Stefan; former EMBL-EBI predoc
To add a message of condolence, please contact the Alumni Relations team.