Robert W. Haley, M.D., is Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of the Division of Epidemiology in the Internal Medicine Department 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.


Medical School
UT Southwestern Medical Center (1971)
Parkland Health & Hospital System (1973), Internal Medicine
Centers for Disease Control (1975), Epidemic Intelligence Service
Centers for Disease Control (1976), Preventive Medicine

Research Interest

  • Epidemiology and prevention of hospital-acquired infections
  • Epidemiology and prevention of West Nile Virus epidemics
  • Neuroscience and epidemiologic investigations of Gulf War illness


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Association of low PON1 type Q (type A) arylesterase activity with neurologic symptom complexes in Gulf War veterans
Haley RW, Billecke S, La Du BN. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 1999 157 227-233
Is there a Gulf War syndrome? Searching for syndromes by factor analysis of symptoms
Haley RW, Kurt TL, Hom J. JAMA 1997 277 215-222
Eradication of endemic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections from a special care nursery
Haley RW, Cushion NB, Tenover FC, Bannerman TL, Dryer D, Ross J, Sanchez PJ, Siegel JD. Journal of Infectious Diseases 1995 171 614-624
The financial incentive for hospitals to prevent nosocomial infections under the Prospective Payment System: An empirical determination from a nationally representative sample
Haley RW, White JW, Culver DH, Hughes JM. JAMA 1987 257 1611-1614
The efficacy of infection surveillance and control programs in preventing nosocomial infections in U.S. Hospitals
Haley RW, Culver DH, White JW, Morgan WM, Emori TG. American Journal of Epidemiology 1985 121 183-205

Honors & Awards

  • Distinguished Teaching Professor
    UT Southwestern (2016)
  • Association of American Physicians
    A society for the advancement of scientific and practical medicine (2004)
  • Distinguished Alumni Award
    Southern Methodist University (2000)
  • Listed in The Best Doctors in America
    Recognition based on a national poll of physicians (1994)
  • Commissioned Officer Commendation Medal
    U.S. PHS award for research accomplishments at CDC (1976)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha
    A national medical honor society (1971)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Fellow, American College of Epidemiology; Fellow, American College of Physicians
  • Member of the House of Delegates, Texas Medical Association
  • Past President, Member of the Board of Directors, Dallas County Medical Society
  • Past President, Texas Club of Internists
  • Society for Epidemiologic Research ; Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America