- Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program | Scott K. Heysell

Scott K. Heysell


  • BA, Vanderbilt University
  • MD, MPH, Oregon Health and Sciences University
  • Fellowship, Yale School of Medicine
  • Fellowship, University of Virginia

Primary Appointment

  • Associate Professor, Medicine- Infectious Diseases and International Health


Research Interest(s)

Multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB); pharmacokinetics; clinical application of diagnostics for TB; clinical trials to optimize TB treatment Email Address: skh8r@virginia.edu

Research Description

Dr. Heysell has field experience in HIV-drug-resistant TB-endemic areas, including rural South Africa (Tugela Ferry), where he lived during post-doctoral training at Yale in tropical infectious diseases. More recently, he has conducted field work in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania, where he has consulted at the national drug-resistant TB hospital, Kibong’oto, and has conducted research in partnership with investigators at the Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute.

Dr. Heysell's research focuses on the understanding of anti-TB pharmacokinetics and the application of novel M. tuberculosis susceptibility testing, particularly in patients with multidrug-resistant TB, or with the co-morbid conditions of HIV or diabetes. He is currently funded by the NIH and non-governmental foundations for projects in Virginia, Tanzania, Bangladesh and Eastern Siberia.

Selected Publications

  • Heysell S, Ahmed S, Ferdous S, Khan M, Rahman S, Gratz J, Rahman M, Mahmud A, Houpt E, Banu S. Quantitative drug-susceptibility in patients treated for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Bangladesh: implications for regimen choice. PloS one. 2015;10(2): e0116795. PMID: 25710516 | PMCID: PMC4339842
  • Heysell S, Moore J, Peloquin C, Ashkin D, Houpt E. Outcomes and use of therapeutic drug monitoring in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients treated in virginia, 2009-2014. Tuberculosis and respiratory diseases. 2015;78(2): 78-84. PMID: 25861340 | PMCID: PMC4388904
  • Heysell S, Pholwat S, Mpagama S, Pazia S, Kumburu H, Ndusilo N, Gratz J, Houpt E, Kibiki G. Sensititre MYCOTB plate compared to Bactec MGIT 960 for first and second-line anti-tuberculosis drug susceptibility testing in Tanzania: a call to operationalize minimum inhibitory concentrations. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 2015. PMID: 26303804
  • Mpagama S, Lekule I, Mbuya A, Kisonga R, Heysell S. The Influence of Mining and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Among Patients Admitted for Retreatment of Tuberculosis in Northern Tanzania. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene. 2015;93(2): 212-5. PMID: 26013368 | PMCID: PMC4530736
  • Ndusilo N, Heysell S, Mpagama S, Gratz J, Segesela F, Pazia S, Wang X, Houpt E, Kibiki G. Improvement in plasma drug activity during the early treatment interval among Tanzanian patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. PloS one. 2015;10(3): e0122769. PMID: 25816161 | PMCID: PMC4376785
  • Reynolds J, Heysell S. Understanding pharmacokinetics to improve tuberculosis treatment outcome. Expert opinion on drug metabolism & toxicology. 2014. PMID: 24597717
  • Thomas T, Heysell S, Moodley P, Montreuil R, Ha X, Friedland G, Bamber S, Moll A, Gandhi N, Brant W, Sturm W, Shah S. Intensified specimen collection to improve tuberculosis diagnosis in children from Rural South Africa, an observational study. BMC infectious diseases. 2014;14 11. PMID: 24400822
  • Banu S, Rahman S, Khan M, Ferdous S, Ahmed S, Gratz J, Stroup S, Pholwat S, Heysell S, Houpt E. Discordance across several drug susceptibility methods for drug-resistant tuberculosis in a single laboratory. Journal of clinical microbiology. 2013. PMID: 24172155
  • Heysell S, Moore J, Staley D, Dodge D, Houpt E. Early Therapeutic Drug Monitoring for Isoniazid and Rifampin among Diabetics with Newly Diagnosed Tuberculosis in Virginia, USA. Tuberculosis research and treatment. 2013;2013 129723. PMID: 24349775
  • Heysell S, Thomas T, Sifri C, Rehm P, Houpt E. 18-Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography for tuberculosis diagnosis and management: a case series. BMC pulmonary medicine. 2013;13 14. PMID: 23514625 | PMCID: PMC3637578
  • Mpagama S, Heysell S, Ndusilo N, Kumburu H, Lekule I, Kisonga R, Gratz J, Boeree M, Houpt E, Kibiki G. Diagnosis and interim treatment outcomes from the first cohort of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients in Tanzania. PloS one. 2013;8(5): e62034. PMID: 23675411 | PMCID: PMC3652861
  • Mpagama S, Houpt E, Stroup S, Kumburu H, Gratz J, Kibiki G, Heysell S. Application of quantitative second-line drug susceptibility testing at a multidrug-resistant tuberculosis hospital in Tanzania. BMC infectious diseases. 2013;13(1): 432. PMID: 24034230
  • Mpagama S, Ndusilo N, Stroup S, Kumburu H, Peloquin C, Gratz J, Houpt E, Kibiki G, Heysell S. Plasma drug activity in patients on treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 2013;58(2): 782-8. PMID: 24247125
  • Zhdanova S, Heysell S, Ogarkov O, Boyarinova G, Alexeeva G, Pholwat S, Zorkaltseva E, Houpt E, Savilov E. Primary multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis in 2 regions, Eastern Siberia, Russian Federation. Emerging infectious diseases. 2013;19(10): 1649-52. PMID: 24047678 | PMCID: PMC3810730
  • Heysell S, Houpt E. The future of molecular diagnostics for drug-resistant tuberculosis. Expert review of molecular diagnostics. 2012;12(4): 395-405. PMID: 22616704
  • Heysell S, Wispelwey B. Perianal plaques of cytomegalovirus in a patient with central nervous system lymphoma. Case reports in infectious diseases. 2012;2012 948530. PMID: 22675645 | PMCID: PMC3362992
  • Mpagama S, Mtabho C, Mwaigwisya S, Mleoh L, Boer I, Heysell S, Houpt E, Kibiki G. Comparison of overnight pooled and standard sputum collection method for patients with suspected pulmonary tuberculosis in northern Tanzania. Tuberculosis research and treatment. 2012;2012 128057. PMID: 22567273 | PMCID: PMC3335725
  • Heysell S, Houpt E. Optimizing second-line therapy for drug-resistant tuberculosis: the additive value of sequencing for multiple resistance loci. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 2011;55(8): 3968-9. PMID: 21757612 | PMCID: PMC3147637
  • Heysell S, Mtabho C, Mpagama S, Mwaigwisya S, Pholwat S, Ndusilo N, Gratz J, Aarnoutse R, Kibiki G, Houpt E. Plasma drug activity assay for treatment optimization in tuberculosis patients. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 2011;55(12): 5819-25. PMID: 21968363 | PMCID: PMC3232779
  • Heysell S, Shenoi S, Catterick K, Thomas T, Friedland G. Prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage among hospitalised patients with tuberculosis in rural Kwazulu-Natal. South African medical journal = Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir geneeskunde. 2011;101(5): 332-4. PMID: 21837877 | PMCID: PMC3628595
  • Satyanarayana G, Heysell S, Scully K, Houpt E. Mycobacterial infections in a large Virginia hospital, 2001-2009. BMC infectious diseases. 2011;11 113. PMID: 21545738 | PMCID: PMC3098778
  • Shah N, Moodley P, Babaria P, Moodley S, Ramtahal M, Richardson J, Heysell S, Li X, Moll A, Friedland G, Sturm A, Gandhi N. Rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis and multidrug resistance by the microscopic-observation drug-susceptibility assay. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine. 2011;183(10): 1427-33. PMID: 21297071
  • Shah N, Richardson J, Moodley P, Moodley S, Babaria P, Ramtahal M, Heysell S, Li X, Moll A, Friedland G, Sturm A, Gandhi N. Increasing drug resistance in extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, South Africa. Emerging infectious diseases. 2011;17(3): 510-3. PMID: 21392446 | PMCID: PMC3166021
  • Heysell S, Moll A, Gandhi N, Eksteen F, Babaria P, Coovadia Y, Roux L, Lalloo U, Friedland G, Shah N. Extensively drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis from aspirates, Rural South Africa. Emerging infectious diseases. 2010;16(3): 557-60. PMID: 20202446 | PMCID: PMC3322040
  • Pholwat S, Heysell S, Stroup S, Foongladda S, Houpt E. Rapid first- and second-line drug susceptibility assay for Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates by use of quantitative PCR. Journal of clinical microbiology. 2010;49(1): 69-75. PMID: 21084506 | PMCID: PMC3020429
  • A piece of my mind. The quiet storm. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association. 2009;302(1): 13-4. PMID: 19567425