Skip to Main Content

Robert Heimer, PhD

Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) and of Pharmacology; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health

Contact Information

Robert Heimer, PhD

Office Location

  • 60 College Street
    New Haven, CT 06510

Mailing Address

  • Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases

    PO Box 208034, 60 College Street

    New Haven, CT 06520-8034

    United States



Dr. Heimer's major research efforts include scientific investigation of the mortality and morbidity associated with injection drug use. Areas of investigation include syringe exchange programs, virus 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, behavioral, and structural 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 (CIRA) and former Director of its Interdisciplinary Research Methods Core. His current work focuses on the contexts and consequences of the opioid crisis in CT and the systemic of HIV, viral hepatitis, and injection drug use nationally and globally.

Dr. Heimer previously served as Principal Investigator of the Yale office of the Connecticut Emerging Infections Program. This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded program is one of ten 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 (especially influenza), Lyme and other tickborne diseases, Clostridium difficile, and the prevention of human papillomavirus infections.

Dr. Heimer received his training in molecular biology and pharmacology at Columbia College (BA) and Yale University (MA, PhD). He began his work on the prevention of HIV among injection drug users in 1990 with an evaluation of the city-run New Haven needle exchange program and his work on emerging infections in 1995 with studies of the tick-borne agent of human ehrlichiosis.

Education & Training

  • PhD
    Yale University (1988)
  • MSc
    Yale University (1980)
  • BA
    Columbia University (1974)


  • Empowerment, Treatment, and Prevention for People who Inject Drug in Hanoi, Vietnam
    Ha Noi, Ha Noi, Vietnam (2011-2014)
    Two studies are underway to explore the impact of changing methods of responding to injection drug use in Vietnam.
  • AIDS/HIV, Russia
    Saint Petersburg, St.-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
  • 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.
  • HIV, Russia
    Saint Petersburg, St.-Petersburg, Russia 2010
    International Feasibility Study of Pharmacy-Based HIV Prevention: St. Petersburg

Departments & Organizations