Robert Heimer, PhD

Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) and of Pharmacology; Director, Emerging Infections Program

Research Departments & Organizations

School of Public Health: Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS | Connecticut Emerging Infections Program | Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases | YSPH Global Health Concentration

Molecular Virology: Virology Laboratories

Yale Institute for Global Health

Global Health Studies

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Interests

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Epidemiology; Foodborne Diseases; Global Health; Hepatitis C; HIV Infections; Injections; Public Health; Russia; Vietnam

Research Summary

Dr. Heimer is also the Director of the Yale office of the Connecticut Emerging Infections Program. This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded program is one of eleven programs nationwide that seek to assess, through population-based surveillance, the public health impact of emerging infectious diseases and to evaluate methods for their prevention and control in the community. The Yale program currently focuses on  foodborne illnesses, and respiratory illnesses (influenza and RSV), tick borne diseases, and hospital acquired and related infections (including but not limited to C. difficile, antimicrobial resistant enterococci, S. aureus, and bloodstream candidemia).

In a second domain, Dr. Heimer's major research efforts include scientific investigations of the mortality and morbidity associated with illicit drug use. Areas of investigation include syringe exchange programs, HIV survival in syringes, hepatitis B vaccination, hepatitis C transmission risks, overdose prevention and resuscitation, and pharmacological treatment of opiate addiction. His research combines laboratory, operational, and ethnographic analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of intervention programs in preventing the negative medical consequences of injection drug use. Dr. Heimer is a member of Yale's Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS and the CT Opioid Response Team established in 2016 by Governor Daniel Malloy.

Specialized Terms: Mortality and morbidity in relation to injection drug use; HIV and hepatitis C transmission; Evaluation of prevention and treatment for people who inject drugs

Extensive Research Description

Robert Heimer is Professor of Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health and of Pharmacology at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Heimer’s research provides health and prevention practitioners with information by examining consequences of drug abuse in the United States, Russia, and in other global contexts. 

Current research and program evaluation efforts are funded by NIH, CDC, FDA, and the Gilead Foundation.


  • Empowerment, Treatment, and Prevention for People who Inject Drug in Hanoi, Vietnam Ha Noi, Vietnam (2011 - 2014)

    Two studies are underway to explore the impact of changing methods of responding to injection drug use in Vietnam.

  • Influences on HIV Prevalence and Service Access Kohtle-Järve, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia (2010)

    Exploring barriers among people who inject drugs to prevention and care services for HIV and related medical problems.

  • AIDS/HIV, Russia Saint Petersburg, Russia (2010 - 2012)

    Developing a Scientific and Methodological Center for Research and Facilitation Efficiency Improvement of Organizations Engaged in HIV Prevention in the Russian Federation

  • HIV, Russia Saint Petersburg, Russia (2010)

    International Feasibility Study of Pharmacy-Based HIV Prevention: St. Petersburg

Selected Publications

See list of PubMed publications

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