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Heidi J Zapata MD, PhD

Assistant Professor

Contact Information

Heidi J Zapata, MD, PhD

Patient Care Location

Mailing Address

  • Infectious Diseases

    PO Box 208022

    New Haven, CT, 06520-8022

    United States

Heidi J Zapata
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My interest in microbes started in college when I did a research project on Trypanosomes, the parasite that causes African sleeping sickness. I was struck with how the membrane of the parasite changed its surface antigens to circumvent the host immune response.  My interest in the host microbe relationship continued during my MD/Ph.D., during which my thesis work focused on Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV), the cause of chicken pox and shingles.  We demonstrated that the VZV virus had co-evolved to become highly dependent on the cellular signaling proteins JNK and ERK, which was beautifully illustrated when we found that the virus had hijacked these cellular proteins and had incorporated them into the virion.  My clinical experiences during ID fellowship have solidified the importance of the host-microbe relationship, and have pushed me to further understand the host innate immune response.  

Education & Training

  • PhD
    SUNY Upstate Medical University, Microbiology and Immunology (2008)
  • MD
    SUNY Upstate Med Center (2008)
  • Fellowship
    Yale University School of Medicine
  • Residency
    University of Virginia-Charlottesville
  • Board Certification
    AB of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine (2012)
  • Board Certification
    AB of Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease (2013, recertified: 2015)

Departments & Organizations