Dr. Gerardo Heiss

Gerardo Heiss, PhD

W.R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor
Department of Epidemiology
CVS Plaza
137 East Franklin Street, Suite 306
CB #8050
Chapel Hill, NC 27514


Dr. Heiss trained in internal medicine and epidemiology. His interests involve the training of early career scientists and his areas of research include noninvasive measures of vascular disease in populations; genetic and environmental determinants of atherosclerosis; inflammatory precursors of diabetes and heart disease; cardiovascular health of women and minority populations; mechanisms relating socio-economic status to cardiovascular health and successful aging, and applications of electronic health records in population research. He has been involved in lead roles in several large, multicenter observational studies and in clinical trials. Among them are the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, the Family Heart Study (NHLBI-FHS), the Family Blood Pressure Program (FBPP/HyperGEN), the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (SOL), the ARIC Neurocognitive Study, the Genetic Epidemiology of Causal Variants across the Life Course, (CALiCo I) study.

Gerardo Heiss in the Gillings News

Honors and Awards

Bernard G. Greenberg Alumni Endowment Award
1998, UNC-CH

Edward C. McGavran Award for Teaching
1993, UNC-CH

1973, Pan American Health Organization

1971, Department of Health and Social Medicine, University of Chile

Key Publications

Multi-center genetic study of hypertension: The Family blood pressure program (FBPP). et al., Donna Arnett, Eric Boerwinkle, Ingrid Borecki, C.Andrew Brown, Maurita Carrejo, Aravinda Chakravarti, Ida Chen, Richard Cooper, David Cox, J.David Curb, John Eckfeldt, R.Curtis Ellison, Robert Ferrell, John Grove, Chi Gu, Craig Hanis, Gerardo Heiss, Steven Hunt, Richard Hutchinson, Howard Jacob, Sharon Kardia, Mark Leppert, Kamal Masaki, Stephen Mockrin, Albert Oberman, Susan Old, Michael Province, Tom Quertermous, Koustubh Ranade, D.C. Rao, Neil Risch, Beatriz Rodriguez, Peter Savage, Nicholas Schork., Charles Sing, Stephen Turner, Alan Weder (2002). Hypertension, 39(1), 3-9.

Vasectomy, inflammation, atherosclerosis and long-term followup for cardiovascular diseases: No associations in the atherosclerosis risk in communities study. S.A. Coady, G.W. Evans, G. Heiss, A.R. Sharrett, Z.-J. Zheng (2002). Journal of Urology, 167(1), 204-207.

Does the cardiac autonomic response to postural change predict incident coronary heart disease and mortality? The atherosclerosis risk in communities study. Mercedes Carnethon, Wayne Cascio, Lloyd Chambless, Gregory Evans, Gerardo Heiss, Duanping Liao, Wayne Rosamond (2002). American Journal of Epidemiology, 155(1), 48-56.

B-mode ultrasound-detected carotid artery lesions with and without acoustic shadowing and their association with markers of inflammation and endothelial activation: The atherosclerosis risk in communities study. Bruce Duncan, Gerardo Heiss, Kelly Hunt, Stephen Kritchevsky, Steven Offenbacher, James Pankow, Eyal Shahar, A.Richey Sharrett (2002). Atherosclerosis, 162(1), 145-155.


  • PhD, Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1976
  • MSc, Social Medicine, University of London, 1973
  • MD, Medicine, University of Chile, 1968