David Hafler, MD

William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly Professor of Neurology and Professor of Immunobiology; Chair, Department of Neurology; Neurologist-in-Chief, Yale New Haven Hospital

Departments & Organizations

Neurology: Hafler Lab | Multiple Sclerosis & Other Inflammatory Brain Disease

Immunobiology: HTI

Cancer Center: Cancer Immunology

Center for Musculoskeletal Care

Faculty Research

Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program

Stem Cell Center, Yale

Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS): Immunology: Computational Immunology; Mounting an Immune Response; Regulating the Immune Response | Neuroscience

Yale Medicine

Office of Cooperative Research


Dr. Hafler is the William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly Professor and Chairman Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine and is the Neurologist-in-Chief of the Yale-New Haven Hospital. He graduated magna cum laude in 1974 from Emory University with combined B.S. and M.Sc. degrees in biochemistry, and the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1978. He then completed his internship in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins followed by a neurology residency at Cornell Medical Center-New York Hospital in New York.

Dr. Hafler received training in immunology at the Rockefeller University then at Harvard where he joined the faculty in 1984. He was one of the Executive Directors of the Program in Immunology at Harvard Medical School and was on the faculty of the Harvard-MIT Health Science and Technology program where he was actively involved in the training of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

Dr. Hafler has been elected to membership in the American Society of Clinical Investigation, The American Neurological Association, the Alpha Omega Society, and was a Harvey Weaver Scholar of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He is currently a member of the editorial boards for Journal of Clinical Investigation and the Journal of Experimental Medicine, and is co-founder of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies.

Dr. Hafler is a clinical scientist with a research interest in understanding the mechanism of autoimmunity with a particular interest in inflammatory central nervous system diseases, with over 300 publications in the field of autoimmunity and immunology. He received the 1st National Multiple Sclerosis five year Collaborative Center Award for tackling the MS genetic effort. Hafler leads the NIH Autoimmunity Prevention Center Grant at Yale, and was a Jacob Javits Merit Award Recipient from the NIH.

His laboratory focuses on the understanding of human autoimmune diseases with the theme that investigation of naturally occurring human diseases give insight into the basic processes of T cell regulation, in addition to providing fundamental understanding and development of new therapies for human diseases. The laboratory has defined immunodominant epitopes of autoantigens, and has developed new technologies to measure both functionality and frequency of autoreactive T cells. More recently, Dr. Hafler has focused on broadly characterizing the molecular pathogenesis of the disease, both at the DNA, mRNA, and proteomic level.

Dr. Hafler is a founding member of the International MS Genetic Consortium.

Education & Training

MD University of Miami School of Medicine (1978)
BS Emory College, Chemistry (1974)
MS Emory University (1974)
Post-Doctoral Fellowship Harvard Medical School
Visiting Scientist Rockefeller University
Board Certification AB of Psychiatry & Neurology, Neurology (1987)

Honors & Recognition

  • Raymond D. Adams LectureshipAmerican Neurological Association (2015)

  • John J. Dystel Prize for Multiple Sclerosis ResearchAmerican Academy of Neurology (2010)

  • Distinguished Alumni “Hall of Fame” AwardUniversity of Miami (2010)

  • Best Doctors in BostonBest of Boston (2008)

  • Honorary MemberScandinavian Society for Immunology (2005)

  • Most Highly Cited List in the field of ImmunologyISI (2004)

  • The Jacobs Javits Merit Investigator AwardNIH (2004)

  • Best Doctors in America (2000)

  • Elected MemberAmerican Society for Clinical Investigation (1993)

  • Elected MemberAmerican Neurological Association (1991)

  • Harry Weaver ScholarNational Multiple Sclerosis Society (1985)

  • AOAUniversity of Miami (1977)

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Contact Info

David Hafler, MD
Patient Care Locations
Yale MS Center6 Devine Street, Ste Suite 2B
North Haven, CT 06473
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Center for Musculoskeletal Care
260 Long Ridge Road

Stamford, CT 06902
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Lab Location
Hafler Lab300 George Street, Ste 3rd Floor
New Haven, CT 06511
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Office Location
Chair's Office, Department of NeurologyLippard Lab for Clinical Investigation
15 York Street, Ste Rm 912

New Haven, CT 06510
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Mailing Address
PO Box 208018. 15 York St
New Haven, CT 06520-8018

Curriculum Vitae

Hafler Lab