Following undergraduate studies in English literature at Vanderbilt University, he earned his MD/MPH from Oregon Health and Sciences University. He finished an Infectious Diseases fellowship at UVA and now assists in staffing the HIV clinic and serves as an inpatient attending on the Internal Medicine wards and in Infectious Diseases consults. His principal research focus is in improving outcomes for patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis. He conducts research with partners in Tanzania, with active research projects there as well as in Eastern Siberia. Currently, Dr. Heysell co-directs the HIV Russia Diplomacy Lab.