Robert Heimer

Robert Heimer, Ph.D.
Professor, Epidemiology & Public Health
Yale University School of Medicine

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, 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, behavioral, and structural analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of intervention programs in preventing the negative medical consequences of injection drug use. Dr. Heimer is Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Methods Core at Yale’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA). His current work focuses on he contexts and consequences of drug abuse and attempts to provide health and prevention practitioners with information needed to assist their educational and advocacy efforts.

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 chronic liver disease (especially hepatitis C), foodborne illnesses, and respiratory illnesses and Lyme disease prevention.

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.

Selected Recent Publications

Niccolai LM, Toussova OV, Verevochkin SV, Barbour R, Heimer R, and Kozlov AP. High HIV prevalence, suboptimal HIV testing, and low knowledge of HIV-positive serostatus among injection drug users in St. Petersburg, Russia. AIDS & Behavior: in press.

Green TC, Grau LE, Blinnikova KN, Torban M, Krupitsky EM, Ilyuk R, Kozlov AP, and Heimer R (2008) Social and structural aspects of the overdose risk environment in St. Petersburg, Russia. International Journal of Drug Policy, in press.

Heimer R, Grau LE, Singer M, Scott G, Marshall PA, Hu Y, and Seal KH (2008) Hepatitis B virus prevalence and vaccination rates among Hispanic injection drug users participating in a vaccination campaign operated at syringe exchange programs. Journal of Drug Issues, 38:335-350.

Heimer, R. (2008) Community coverage and HIV prevention: Assessing metrics for estimating HIV incidence through syringe exchange. International Journal of Drug Policy,19S:S65-S73.

Heimer R, Barbour R, Shaboltas AV, Hoffman IF, and Kozlov AP (2008). Spatial distribution of HIV prevalence and incidence among injection drugs users in St.

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