No matter how advanced the science and technology, it’s the people applying it that have the power to make the biggest impact. Our physicians combine their passion for medicine with a deep and sincere desire to treat the whole person and not just symptoms. They are particularly skilled in interpreting large data sets to glean critical health information that can be acted upon to preempt disease and drive optimal health through a unique combination of traditional, integrative and functional medicine.
As Chief of Performance Medicine and Medical Imaging for Health Nucleus, I am an evangelist for optimizing longevity and personal performance with a mission to make Health Nucleus the leader in whole genome genetic interpretation, whole body imaging, and advanced blood work.
B.S, University of Michigan, Concentration: Cellular and Molecular Biology (1994)
MD, PH.D in Cellular and Molecular Biology University of Michigan (2005)
Internship in Internal Medicine, University of California, Irvine (2005 - 2006)
Residency in Diagnostic Radiology, University of California, San Diego (July 2006 – June 2011)
Fellowship in Abdominal Imaging and Cross-sectional Interventional, University of California, Los Angeles (2011 – 2012)
Medical Board of California, Physician and Surgeon (2006 – present)
Board Certified, American Board of Radiology, Diagnostic (2011 – present)
California X-Ray Supervisor & Operator Permit, #RHL00170328 (2011 – present)
Precision Medicine Integrating Whole-Genome Sequencing, Comprehensive Metabolomics, and Advanced Imaging
“Genome sequencing has established clinical utility for rare disease diagnosis. While increasing numbers of individuals have undergone elective genome sequencing, a comprehensive study surveying genome-wide disease-associated genes in adults with deep phenotyping has not been reported. Here we report the results of a 3-y precision …”
An Unsupervised Learning Approach to Identify Novel Signatures of Health and Disease From Multimodal Data
“…multimodal data integration, from the identification of novel biomarker signatures to a data-driven stratification of individuals into disease subtypes and stages-an essential step towards personalized, preventative health risk assessment.”
Utility of Restriction Spectrum Imaging Among Men Undergoing First-Time Biopsy for Suspected Prostate Cancer
“Evaluate restriction spectrum imaging (RSI) in men undergoing MRI-ultrasound fusion biopsy for suspected prostate cancer (PCa) and to compare the performance of RSI.. “
Relationship Between Kurtosis and Bi-Exponential Characterization of
High B-Value Diffusion-Weighted Imaging: Application to Prostate Cancer
“High b-value diffusion-weighted imaging has application in the detection of cancerous tissue across multiple body sites. Diffusional kurtosis and bi-exponential modeling are two popular model-based techniques…”
Precision Medicine Screening Using Whole-Genome Sequencing and Advanced Imaging to Identify Disease Risk in Adult
“Using genomics in combination with advanced imaging and other clinical testing to proactively screen for age-related chronic disease...”
Polygenic Hazard Score to Guide Screening for Aggressive Prostate Cancer: Development and Validation in Large Scale Cohorts
“Predict age of onset of aggressive prostate cancer (PCa) and to guide decisions of who to screen…”
Genetic Assessment of Age-Associated Alzheimer Disease Risk: Development and Validation of a Polygenic Hazard Score
“Although genetic studies have identified AD-associated SNPs in APOE and other genes, genetic information has not been integrated into an epidemiological framework for risk…”
Restriction Spectrum Imaging: An Evolving Imaging Biomarker in Prostate MRI
“Restriction spectrum imaging (RSI) is a novel diffusion-weighted MRI technique that uses the mathematically distinct behavior of water diffusion…”
Voxel Level Radiologic-Pathologic Validation of Restriction Spectrum
Imaging Cellularity Index With Gleason Grade in Prostate Cancer
“We evaluated the reliability of RSI-MRI to predict variance with GG at the voxel-level within clinically demarcated prostate cancer”
Restriction Spectrum Imaging Improves MRI-based Prostate Cancer Detection
“To compare the diagnostic performance of restriction spectrum imaging (RSI), with that of conventional multi-parametric (MP) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for prostate cancer (PCa) detection”
In Vivo Prostate Cancer Detection and Grading Using Restriction Spectrum imaging-MRI
“ RSI-MRI significantly improves upon current noninvasive PCa imaging and may potentially…”
Parenchymal Volumetric Assessment as a Predictive Tool to Determine
Renal Function Benefit of Nephron-Sparing Surgery Compared With Radical
“Volumetric-based assessment provides information to predict postoperative eGFR. A tool based on this equation may assist surgical counseling regarding…”
Prostate Diffusion Imaging With Distortion Correction
“Diffusion imaging in the prostate is susceptible to distortion from B0 inhomogeneity. Distortion correction in prostate imaging is not routinely performed, resulting in…”
Polygenic Overlap Between C-Reactive Protein, Plasma Lipids, and Alzheimer Disease
“Epidemiological findings suggest a relationship between Alzheimer disease (AD), inflammation, and dyslipidemia, although the nature of this relationship is not well understood. We investigated…”
MRI-Derived Restriction Spectrum Imaging Cellularity Index Is
Associated With High Grade Prostate Cancer on Radical Prostatectomy
“The RSI-derived normalized cellularity index is associated with aggressive PCa as determined by pathologic Gleason scores. Further utilization of RSI techniques may serve to enhance…”
Novel Technique for Characterizing Prostate Cancer Utilizing MRI
Restriction Spectrum Imaging: Proof of Principle and Initial Clinical
Experience With Extraprostatic Extension
“Standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the prostate lacks sensitivity in the diagnosis and staging of prostate cancer (PCa). To improve the operating characteristics of prostate MRI in the detection and characterization of PCa, we developed a novel, enhanced MRI diffusion technique…”
Diffusion-weighted Imaging in Cancer: Physical Foundations and Applications of Restriction Spectrum Imaging“
The scope of DWI has since broadened to include oncologic imaging of the prostate gland, breast, and liver. Despite its growing success and application, misconceptions about the underlying physical basis of the DWI signal exist…”
Combining MR Imaging, Positron-Emission Tomography, and CSF Biomarkers in the Diagnosis and Prognosis of Alzheimer Disease
“To quantify the effect sizes of regional metabolic and morphometric measures in patients with preclinical and mild Alzheimer disease (AD) to aid in the identification of noninvasive biomarkers…”
Structural MRI Biomarkers for Preclinical and Mild Alzheimer's Disease
“Noninvasive MRI biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease (AD) may enable earlier clinical diagnosis and the monitoring of therapeutic effectiveness. To assess potential neuroimaging biomarkers, the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative is following normal controls (NC) and individuals with mild cognitive impairment…”
Neurons Detect Increases and Decreases in Oxygen Levels Using Distinct Guanylate Cyclases
“Homeostatic sensory systems detect small deviations in temperature, water balance, pH, and energy needs to regulate adaptive behavior and physiology. In C. elegans, a homeostatic preference for intermediate oxygen (O2) levels requires cGMP signaling through soluble guanylate cyclases (sGCs)…”
Alzheimer Disease: Quantitative Structural Neuroimaging for Detection
and Prediction of Clinical and Structural Changes in Mild Cognitive
“Semiautomated, individually specific quantitative MR imaging methods can be used to identify a pattern of regional atrophy in MCI…”
Multi-modal Imaging Predicts Memory Performance in Normal Aging and Cognitive Decline
“This study (n=161) related morphometric MR imaging, FDG-PET and APOE genotype to memory scores in normal controls (NC), mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Stepwise regression analyses focused on morphometric and metabolic characteristics of the episodic memory network…”
A Distributed Chemosensory Circuit for Oxygen Preference in C. Elegans
“The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has complex, naturally variable behavioral responses to environmental oxygen, food, and other animals. C. elegans detects oxygen through soluble guanylate cyclase homologs (sGCs) and responds to it differently…”
Nitric Oxide Binding to Prokaryotic Homologs of the Soluble Guanylate Cyclase beta1 H-NOX Domain
“The heme cofactor in soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) is a selective receptor for NO, an important signaling molecule in eukaryotes. The sGC heme domain has been localized to the N-terminal 194 amino acids of the beta1 subunit of sGC and is a member of a family of conserved hemoproteins, called the H-NOX family…”
Characterization of Functional Heme Domains From Soluble Guanylate Cyclase
“Soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) is a heterodimeric, nitric oxide (NO)-sensing hemoprotein composed of two subunits, alpha1 and beta1. NO binds to the heme cofactor in the beta1 subunit…”
Crystal Structure of an Oxygen-Binding Heme Domain Related to Soluble Guanylate Cyclases
“Soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) is a heterodimeric, nitric oxide (NO)-sensing hemoprotein composed of two subunits, alpha1 and beta1. NO binds to the heme cofactor in the beta1 subunit, forming a five-coordinate NO complex that activates the enzyme several hundred-fold…This paper has identified and characterized the minimum functional ligand-binding heme domain derived from sGC…”
Spectroscopic Characterization of the Soluble Guanylate Cyclase-Like
Heme Domains From Vibrio Cholerae and Thermoanaerobacter Tengcongensis
“Soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) is a nitric oxide- (NO-) sensing hemoprotein that has been found in eukaryotes from Drosophila to humans. Prokaryotic proteins with significant homology to the heme domain of sGC have recently been identified through genomic analysis…The first is a 181 amino acid protein cloned from Vibrio cholera…The second protein is the N-terminal 188 amino acids of Tar4…”
Oxygen Sensation and Social Feeding Mediated by a C. Elegans Guanylate Cyclase Homologue
“Specialized oxygen-sensing cells in the nervous system generate rapid behavioural responses to oxygen. We show here that the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans exhibits a strong behavioural preference for 5-12% oxygen…”
RNA Polymerase II-dependent Positional Effects on mRNA 3' End Processing in the Adenovirus Major Late Transcription Unit
“Our results are consistent with recent reports demonstrating that the processing factors cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor and cleavage stimulatory factor are associated with the RNA polymerase II holoenzyme…”
As the Chief Medical Director for Health Nucleus, I have a deep desire to translate complex medical data into accessible and actionable information that can change our patients’ lives for the better.
MD, Louisiana State University School of Medicine at New Orleans (1995)
Chief Resident, Scripps Clinic Internal Medicine Residency (1998 -1999)
President of American Academy of Private Physicians, 2015-2017
American Board of Internal Medicine
American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine
Precision Medicine Screening Using Whole-Genome Sequencing and Advanced Imaging to Identify Disease Risk in Adults
As a physician at Health Nucleus, I believe health can flourish throughout our lifetime. From the microbiome to brain health, our daily habits connect all of our systems to one amazing network.
University of Iowa, Iowa City. IA., Bachelor of Arts, Biology with Honors (1991-1998)
Rush Medical College, Chicago, IL, Doctor of Medicine (1992-1996)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI Internship and Residency, Family Practice (1996-1999)
American Board of Family Practice, 2017
American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine 2013
Institute of Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner 2019
Chapter: Circadian rhythm in the Digital Age in The Handbook of Wellness Medicine
To be published August, 2020
I joined the team of physicians at Health Nucleus in 2017 with the goal of empowering patients to draw their own blueprints for healing and to continue to mentor healthcare providers on how to use emerging innovation and technology in their practice.
Emergency Medicine Resident, University of California, San Diego, CA (2002-2005)
Transitional Year Internship, Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Diego, CA (2001-2002)
Doctor of Medicine, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA (1997-2001)
Coursework in Pre-Med, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (1994-1997)
Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology, Emphasis on Disability & Development, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (1989-1993)
PeopleSeq Consortium (NIH) Participated in the ongoing efforts of NIH-funded study to evaluate the medical, behavioral and economic impact of genomic sequencing on healthy populations (2017-2019)
CEP Leadership Series, Emeryville, CA, (2012)
Credentials and Partner Affairs Committee (CPAC) for Vituity, Emeryville, CA (2010 – 2012)
American College of Emergency Physicians
California Medical Association
Medical licensure California: A80686 | DEA BG8091124
Heister RR: Scaphoid Fractures. In: Rosen and Barkin’s 5-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult (second edition). Schaider J, Hayden SR, Wolfe R, Barkin RM, Rosen P (Eds.); Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2003, pp 996-997.
Heister RR: Bone Spurs. In: Greenberg’s Atlas of Emergency Medicine. Greenberg M, Hendrickson RG, Silverberg M, Campbell CJ, Morocco A, Salvaggio C, Spencer MT (Eds.); Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005.
Heister RR: Sesamoid Bones. In: Greenberg’s Atlas of Emergency Medicine. Greenberg M, Hendrickson RG, Silverberg M, Campbell CJ, Morocco A, Salvaggio C, Spencer MT (Eds.); Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005.
Davis DP, Heister RR, Ochs M, Hoyt D: The impact of hyperventilation on outcome following paramedic rapid sequence intubation. Neurocritical Care, accepted for publication.
Heister RR, Vadeboncouer TF, Guss DA: Impact of helical computed tomography on negative laparotomy rates in acute appendicitis. Am J Emerg Med. 2006 Jan;24 (1):43-7.
Heister RR, Rao D, Ly BT, Davis DP, Clark RF: Stingray envenomation: A retrospective review of clinical presentation and treatment of 119 cases. The Journal of Emergency Medicine 2007 July 33 (1) 33-37.
Shomorony I, Cirulli ET, Huang L, Napier, LA, Heister, RR … Unsupervised integration of multimodal dataset identifies novel signatures of health and disease. Genome Medicine. 2020 Jan 10; 12.1:7.
Hou YCC, Yu HC, Martin R, Schenker-Ahmed…Heister, RR… Precision Medicine Advancements Using Whole Genome Sequencing, Noninvasive Whole Body Imaging, and Functional Diagnostics. PNAS February 11, 2020 117(6)3053-3062.
As a physician specializing in preventative medicine, I am passionate about using technology to inform, empower and guide patients in their journey toward better health.
Stanford University, Master of Arts, Human Biology (1999-2003)
Stanford University, Master of Arts, Sociology (2002-2003)
MD, University of California, San Francisco - School of Medicine Doctor of Medicine (2003-2007)
San Jose-O'Connor Family Medicine Residency Program (2007-2010)
Board Certified, American Board of Family Physicians (2010-Present)
Board of Directors, Cachamsi Medical Spanish program
44th Annual STFM Spring Conference, Presenter, Wake Up! Introduce an Easy-to-Use and Affordable Audience Response System to Electrify Your Lectures; April 29th, 2011
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) National Conference, Invited panelist/ presenter, Using HealthIT to Engage Patients in Underserved Communities, March 5th 2013
As a physician at Health Nucleus, I am passionate about using integrative medicine as well as my knowledge as a chronic disease researcher to help my patients preempt disease and create wellness.
MD: University of California-San Diego 2015
Family Medicine Residency: Family Heathy Centers of San Diego 2018
MPH: Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University 2006
BA: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2004
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Health: San Diego State University 2019-present
Core Scientist: Laura Rodriguez Research Institute, FHCSD, San Diego, CA 2019-present
State of California Medical License
American Board of Family Medicine
Liu J, Godino JG, Norman GJ, Hill L, Calfas K, Sallis JF, Arredondo E, Rock CL, Criqui M, Zhu SH, Griffiths K, Covin J, Dillon L, Patrick K. Planned care for obesity and cardiovascular risk reduction using a stepped-down approach: A randomized-controlled trial. Prev Med. 2018 Sep;114:223-231. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.07.015. Epub 2018 Jul 25. PubMed PMID: 30055199; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6130909.
Cai WD, Zhao J, Zhao JK, Raymond HF, Feng YJ, Liu J, McFarland W, Gan YX, Yang ZR, Zhang Y, Tan JG, Wang XR, He ML, Cheng JQ, Chen L. HIV prevalence and related risk factors among male sex workers in Shenzhen, China: results from a time-location sampling survey. Sex Transm Infect. 2010 Feb;86(1):15-20. doi: 10.1136/sti.2009.037440. Epub 2009 Oct 22. PubMed PMID: 19854703.
Feng L, Ding X, Lu R, Liu J, Sy A, Ouyang L, Pan C, Yi H, Liu H, Xu J, Zhao J. High HIV prevalence detected in 2006 and 2007 among men who have sex with men in China's largest municipality: an alarming epidemic in Chongqing, China. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2009 Sep 1;52(1):79-85. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181a4f53e. PubMed PMID: 19448559.
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