Robert Heaton, Ph.D. 

Professor and Vice Chair of Academic Affairs


Contact Information

T: (858) 534-4044
F: (858) 534-7653


Dr. Heaton received his B.S. in International Affairs from the U.S. Air Force Academy and his Ph.D in Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington. He was an Assistant and then Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine from 1973 to 1987, before joining our faculty. In 1987 he became the UCSD Director of the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, which recently has been ranked the #1 Clinical Psychology program in the U.S. by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Since 2005 he has been the Vice Chair for Academic Affairs for the Department.

Research Interests

Research Focus

Dr. Heaton’s research focuses on three areas: effects of HIV and comorbid conditions (methamphetamine use disorders, Hepatitis C co-infection) on the brain and behavior; psychometric issues in neuropsychology (cross cultural neuropsychology, demographic influences on test performance, developing demographically corrected test norms for accurate detection and characterization of CNS disorders, longitudinal measurement of treatment outcome and disease progression); and schizophrenia (detection of prodromal phase, effects of cognitive impairment on everyday functioning, and measuring outcomes of treatments aimed at such effects.

Clinical Focus

Clinical Information


  • Heaton, R.K., Marcotte, T.D., Rivera Mindt, M., Sadek, J., Moore, D.J., Bentley, H., McCutchan, J.A., Reicks, C., Grant, I. & The HNRC Group (2004). The impact of HIV-associated neuropsychological impairment on everyday functioning. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 10, 317-331.
  • Cysique, L.A., Jin, H., Franklin, D.R., Morgan, E.E. ,Shi, C., Yu, X., Wu, Z., Taylor, M.J., Marcotte, T.D., Letendre, S., Ake, C., Grant, I., Heaton, R.K. and the HNRC Group (2007). Neurobehavioral effects of HIV-1 infection in China and the US: A pilot study. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 13, 781-790.
  • Heaton RK, Cysique LA, Jin H, Shi C, Yu X, Letendre S, Franklin DR Jr, Ake C, Vigil O, Atkinson JH, Marcotte TD, Grant I, Wu Z. (2008). Neurobehavioral effects of human immunodeficiency virus infection among former plasma donors in rural China.J Neurovirol. 7:1-14.
  • Nuechterlein KH, Green MF, Kern RS, Baade LE, Barch DM, Cohen JD, Essock S, Fenton WS, Frese FJ 3rd, Gold JM, Goldberg T, Heaton RK, Keefe RS, Kraemer H, Mesholam-Gately R, Seidman LJ, Stover E, Weinberger DR, Young AS, Zalcman S, Marder SR. (2008) The MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery, part 1: test selection, reliability, and validity. Am J Psychiatry. 165(2):203-13.