Colleen was born and raised in Detroit Michigan. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Biology from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1984. After graduating from Wayne State, she attended the respiratory therapy program at Northwestern University in Chicago. She moved to California in 1985 and began working at Stanford University Hospital. Early on as a respiratory therapist she specialized in pediatric and adult critical care, and also spent 10 years of her career in pulmonary diagnostics at Packard Children's, performing pulmonary function on patients with cystic fibrosis. It was during her years in the pulmonary lab that gave her insight into the lives of cystic fibrosis patients. It was also during that time that Colleen knew she had found her niche within the cystic fibrosis community working this wonderful group of people. In May 2000, she joined the CF Center at Stanford as a research coordinator and is presently the Translational Research Manager. Colleen is presently pursuing a Master's degree in Regulatory Affairs for Drugs, Biologics and Devices from Northeastern University.