Dr. Carole Heilman is the former Director of the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID), at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As Director of DMID from 1999-2016, she provided scientific direction, oversight, and management of all extramural research programs on infectious diseases, (except AIDS). This responsibility included basic, pre-clinical and clinical research efforts. Dr. Heilman played a critical role in launching and directing NIAID’s extramural efforts in research areas such as influenza, malaria, tuberculosis, biodefense, and emerging infectious diseases including Ebola. In addition, under Dr. Heilman’s leadership, DMID combated the threat of antimicrobial resistance by supporting research focused on developing diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, as well as optimizing the use of currently licensed antibacterial drugs. Dr. Heilman’s particular area of interest and expertise focused on vaccine development where she was directly involved in the licensure of acellular pertusis, cold-adapted and high dosage influenza vaccines.
Dr. Heilman earned her Ph.D. in microbiology from Rutgers University. She completed her post-doctoral work in molecular virology at the National Cancer Institute and continued on at the NCI as a senior staff fellow in molecular oncology. She moved into the health science administration area in 1986 where she focused on respiratory pathogens, in particular vaccine development. Before becoming DMID’s Division Director, Dr. Heilman served as Deputy Director of NIAID’s Division of AIDS.
Dr. Heilman has received numerous awards for scientific management and leadership, including two HHS Secretary Awards for Distinguished Service for her efforts on pertussis vaccine and AIDS vaccine development. In 2010, Dr. Heilman received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Boston University College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and in 2011 she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.