Unlocking the causes of Gulf War Illness
January 12, 2023
Robert W. Haley, M.D., is Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and holder of the U.S. Armed Forces Veterans Distinguished Chair for Medical Research Honoring America's Gulf War Veterans.
He received his B.A. degree in Philosophy and Social Sciences from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he served as instructor in Philosophy for a year. He received his M.D. degree from UT Southwestern Medical School at Dallas and served an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.
He spent 10 years (1973-1983) at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), serving as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. At CDC he served as an epidemic investigator in the Epidemic Intelligence Service, a resident in Preventive Medicine, Director of the Hospital Infections Program, and Director of the nationwide Study on the Efficacy of Nosocomial Infection Control (SENIC Project), a nationwide study to identify methods of controlling hospital-acquired infections. He achieved the rank of O-6 and received the U.S. Public Health Service Commendation Medal for his research contributions while at the CDC.
Returning to Dallas in 1983, Dr. Haley founded the Division of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine. He directs courses in clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, computing, and disease prevention for medical students and practicing physicians; teaches research design in the University's Research Methods course for graduate students and junior faculty; and lectures widely on disease epidemiology and prevention.
He has been an attending physician on the internal medicine services at the Dallas Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Parkland Memorial Hospital and has served on the infection control committees of Parkland and Zale Lipshy University Hospital.
He chaired the Infection Control Indicators Task Force of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and has been a member of the U.S. Public Health Service's National Advisory Committee on Hospital Infection Control Practices. He is certified as a specialist by the American Board of Public Health and General Preventive Medicine, is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the American College of Epidemiology, and served as a senior editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Dr. Haley has conducted extensive research on the epidemiology and prevention of hospital-acquired (nosocomial) infections to improve the quality of hospital care and, more recently, the Gulf War illness. He has published over 150 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Topics of particular interest have been nationwide research studies on the efficacy of hospital infection control programs, multivariate intrinsic risk indexes for use in comparing hospitals' infection rates.