Endowed Chairs & Professorships

The Catherine Kramer Professor of Clinical MycobacteriologyLeonid Heifets, MD

Combating a renewed health threat

Tuberculosis and non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections have continued as a serious worldwide health threat. Through this position, the C.L.C. Kramer Foundation generously supports National Jewish Health's efforts to combat these diseases. The Kramer family's philanthropy benefits those who come to National Jewish Health seeking expert care and extends to those far beyond its walls.

Leonid Heifets received his MD in 1947 from the Moscow Medical Institute in Russia where he also completed his doctorate (PhD) in microbiology in 1953.  In 1972, Dr. Heifets received Doctor of Science Degree in epidemiology from the Academy of Medical Sciences in Moscow.  In 1979, he joined National Jewish Health for his fellowship training in the Department of Medicine. 

Since 1980, he serves as director of the National Jewish Health Mycobacteriology (TB) Laboratory and is now professor in the Department of Medicine, with affiliation in Departments of Microbiology and Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver.  Dr. Heifets is a member of several medical societies and research groups.  He is Associate Editor for the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.  In 2001, Dr. Heifets received the Gardner Middlebrook Award from Becton-Dickinson, and in 2004 he was honored with the National Jewish Health Lifetime Faculty Achievement Award.

Dr. Heifets is the author of more than 100 original papers and reviews.  Monographs in the field of mycobacteriology authored and/or edited are: Drug Susceptibility in the Chemotherapy of Mycobacterial Infections, CRC Press, 1991; Clinical Mycobacteriology (Clinics in Laboratory Medicine, W.B. Saunders, Co.), 1996; Tuberculosis (Seminars in Respiratory Medicine, Theme Medical Publishers, Inc.), 1997; and Tuberculosis and Other Mycobacterial Infections , 2004.  His current major research interests include a search for new antimicrobial agents against M. tuberculosis and Mycobacterium avium.  He is also involved in the development of new methods for cultivation, identification and drug susceptibility testing of mycobacterial isolates.  He received three U.S. patents, in 2002, 2003 and 2005 on a new drug and on a new agar medium.

The Mycobacteriology Laboratory directed by Dr. Heifets, provides services to more than 1,400 institutions around the country.  He has been involved in consulting TB control measured and TB laboratory services in many countries.  Russian microbiologists are being trained in his laboratory in Denver, which became the basis for development of a model for centralized TB laboratory services in a large Siberian area. 

Leonid Heifets, MD
Director, Mycobacteriology, Advanced Diagnostic Laboratories