Faculty & Staff

Richard Heller


Office: MDT 1509

Phone: 813-974-1221


Richard Heller


  • Leadership Institute – University of South Florida Health 2006-2007
  • Ph.D. Medical Sciences, 1989, University of South Florida -Tampa, Florida
  • M.S. Medical Sciences, 1988, University of South Florida - Tampa, Florida
  • M.S. Health Sciences, 1984, Long Island University - Long Island, New York
  • B.S. Microbiology 1979, Oregon State University - Corvallis Oregon

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The major focus is to develop effective drug and gene delivery. The emphasis is on translational studies that include the development and testing of new protocols or devices that can be utilized for potential therapies for cancer, wound healing, metabolic disorders and vascular diseases (peripheral and coronary ischemia) as well as vaccine and immunotherapy protocols.


  • American Association for Immunology                  
  • American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy – 2009-2013 Chair, Scientific Committee Non-Viral Gene Transfer        
  • International Society for Electroporation based Technologies and Treatments – 2016-18 – President Elect; 2018-2020 – President; 2020-2022 – Past-President
  • IEEE EMBS – Senior Member                                                                   
  • Society for In Vitro Biology – Fellow; 1996-2000 – Executive Board; 2002-2008 - Treasurer
  • American Society for Microbiology                        
  • Bioelectromagnetics Society
  • Society for Melanoma Research                              
  • American Association for Advancement in Science
  • National Academy of Inventors  

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National Institutes of Health (NIBIB) RO1; “Controlled Delivery of Plasmid DNA via Low-Temperature Ion Deposition”

National institutes of Health (NIGMS) R41;”Identification of impedance measurement devices, heating hardware, and operating parameters to augment instrumentation for a commercial in vivo electroporation system”

Honors and Awards

  • ODU Faculty Research, Scholarship, and Creative Achievement Award - 2018
  • IEEE Senior Member - 2017
  • Eminent Scholar Designation, ODU - 2017
  • Frank Reidy Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Bioelectronics - 2013
  • Tampa Bay Business Journal Health Heroes Finalist - 2007
  • Biotechnology Award, USF Health Sciences Center - 2006
  • Society for In Vitro Biology Distinguished Serivce Award - 2005
  • Society for In Vitro Biology Fellow Award - 2004
  • Iwao Yasuda Award from Socity for Physical Regulation in Biology and Medicine - 2004
  • Biotechnology Achievement Award, USF Health Sciences - 2003
  • External Reviewer (Chair) fir Dissertation Defense Per Engstrom, Lund, Sweden - 1999
  • Robert J. Grasso Award for Outstanding Dedication to Graduate Education - 1992
  • Hnoor B. Fell Award, Tissue Culture Association - 1989
  • Tissue Culture Association Student Travel Award - 1989
  • First place, USF College of Medicince Research Symposium - 1989
  • Bennett Sallman Award, American Society for Microbiology Florida Branch - 1988
  • Second Place, USF College of Medicine Ressearch Symposium - 1987
  • USF Sigma XI Research Award - 1987
  • Travel Award, Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine - 1986
  • Graduate Registration Fellowship, USF - 1987


Bhatia S, Longino NV, Miller NJ, Kulikauskas RM, Iyer JG, Ibrani D, Blom A, Byrd DR, Parvathaneni U, Twitty CG, Campbell JS, Le MH, Gargosky S, Pierce RH, Heller R, Daud AI, Nghiem P. Intratumoral delivery of plasmid interleukin-12 via electroporation leads to regression of injected and non-injected tumors in Merkel cell carcinoma.  Clin Cancer Res., 26(3):598-607, 2020.

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