Department of Nursing and Health Professions

Meet Karyn Heavner, Ph.D., MSPH

Assistant Professor of Public Health
Director of Public Health Programs

Ph.D., Epidemiology, University of Albany
MSPH, Epidemiology, University of South Carolina
B.A., International Communications, American University of Paris

Phone:  (603) 897-8654

Specialties/Research Interests
  • Epidemiology methods
  • Viral hepatitis
  • Substance use
  • Health disparities


Dr. Heavner’s interests include misclassification bias, categorical data analysis and other epidemiology methods, HIV/AIDS, substance use and vulnerable populations. 

While Dr. Heavner was a research associate at Drexel University, she conducted research on polycythemia vera, occupational and environmental health and epidemiology methods. She completed postdoctoral fellowships at Drexel University and the University of Alberta (Canada) where she researched autism spectrum disorders, substance use, harm reduction and epidemiology methods.

Dr. Heavner was employed by the New York State Department of Health, AIDS Institute while she worked on her Ph.D. Her work there included participation on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grants, which evaluated New York State’s name-based HIV reporting legislation, the Expanded Syringe Access Demonstration Program (ESAP) and the Hepatitis Service Models for Injection Drug Users Project.

Read Dr. Heavner's Rivier Today profile.

Courses Taught
  • PH101 - Introduction to Public Health
  • PH203 - Public Health Seminar
  • PH400 - Global Health & Health Disparities
  • PH495 - Public Health Internship/Capstone
  • PH575 - Public Health Practicum & Seminar
Recent Publications/Proceedings
  • Heavner K, Newschaffer C, Hertz-Picciotto I, Bennett D, Burstyn I. Pooling Bio-Specimens in the Presence of Measurement Error and Non-Linearity in Dose-Response: Simulation Study in the Context of a Birth Cohort Investigating Risk Factors for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015, 12(11):14780-99.
  • Heavner K, Burstyn I. A Simulation Study of Categorizing Continuous Exposure Variables Measured with Error in Autism Research: Small Changes with Large Effects. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(8), 10198-10234.
  • Heavner K, Gross-Davis CA, Frank AL, Newschaffer C, Klotz J, Burstyn I. Working environment and myeloproliferative neoplasm: A population-based case-control study following a cluster investigation. Am J Ind Med. 2015 Jun;58(6):595-604.
  • Gross-Davis CA, Heavner K, Frank AL, Newschaffer C, Klotz J, Santella RM, Burstyn I. The role of genotypes that modify the toxicity of chemical mutagens in the risk for myeloproliferative neoplasms. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Feb 24;12(3):2465-85.
  • Heavner K, Newschaffer C, Hertz-Picciotto I, Bennett D, Burstyn I. Quantifying the potential impact of measurement error in an investigation of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). J Epidemiol Community Health. 2014 May 1;68(5):438-45.
  • Leavey A, Zwaigenbaum L, Heavner K, Burstyn I. Gestational age at birth and risk of autism spectrum disorders in Alberta, Canada. J Pediatr. 2013 Feb;162(2):361-8.
  • Heavner KK, Phillips CV, Burstyn I, Hare W. Dichotomization: 2x2 (x2x2x2 …) categories: infinite possibilities. BMC Medical Research Methodology. 2010;10(1):59.
  • Klein SJ, Tesoriero JM, Leung SY, Heavner KK, Birkhead GS. Screening persons newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS for risk of intimate partner violence: early progress in changing practice. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2008;14(5):420-8.
  • Tesoriero JM, Battles HB, Heavner K, Leung SY, Nemeth C, Pulver W, Birkhead GS. The effect of name-based reporting and partner notification on HIV testing in New York State. Am J Public Health. 2008;98(4):728-35.

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