Viola Vaccarino, MD, PhD

Wilton Looney Chair of Cardiovascular Research, Professor and Chair, Department of Epidemiology

Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University

Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology

Emory University School of Medicine

Phone: 404-712-2679



  • MD, University of Milan, Milan, Italy, 1984
  • PhD, Epidemiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 1994


Dr. Vaccarino is the Wilton Looney Chair of Cardiovascular Research, and Professor and Chair, in the Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She holds a joint appointment in the Department of Medicine's Division of Cardiology in the Emory University School of Medicine. She received her MD degree from the University of Milan, Italy, in 1984, and her PhD degree in epidemiology from Yale University in 1994. In 1995 she was appointed assistant professor at the Yale University School of Medicine. In 2000 she left Yale to join the faculty of the Emory University School of Medicine where she reached the rank of Professor of Medicine in 2006. In March 2010 Dr. Vaccarino was appointed the Rollins Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health. Since 2005, Dr. Vaccarino has directed the Emory Program in Cardiovascular Outcomes Research and Epidemiology ("EPICORE"), a multidisciplinary research group concentrating on clinical and population epidemiology, outcomes research, clinical trials and translational research in cardiovascular diseases and related disciplines. Between 2005 and 2008 she was also the medical director of the Emory Heart Center Information Services, which supports as an investigative resource the Emory Cardiac Database, one of the nation’s original and largest computerized cardiovascular databases.

Dr. Vaccarino is an active member of several teaching and mentoring programs at Emory. These include the Graduate Program of the Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, the Graduate Program in Epidemiology in the Rollins School of Public Health, the Training Program in Academic Cardiology in the Department of Medicine, the Emory University KL2 program sponsored by the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI), the Mentored Clinical Research Scholars (EMCRS) Program, the Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR), and the Training Program in Neuro-Imaging Sciences in the Department of Psychiatry. She is a regular lecturer in several courses and seminar series at Emory, and a mentor of many PhD students, post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty members.


Dr.Vaccarino’s research is in the area of cardiovascular epidemiology and prevention. Her main research interests involve women's health and the study of social, behavioral, and emotional determinants of cardiovascular risk, with a focus on understanding the mechanisms linking these factors to cardiovascular disease. She is particularly interested in the complex interplay of emotional and behavioral factors, such as depression, psychological stress, and socioeconomic status, with the autonomic system and genetic predisposition in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease in human populations. Another area of long-standing interest is the study of sex and race disparities in cardiovascular risk and possible determinants of such differences.