Heller built (GTE Labs, 1966) the first neodymium liquid laser and the world-wide used lithium-thionyl chloride battery (1972); then (Bell Labs, 1975-1988) the first 10% efficient electrochemical power and hydrogen generating solar cells. At the University of Texas, Austin (1988-present), he pioneered the electrical wiring of redox enzymes. In 1996, he co-founded TheraSense Inc with Ephraim Heller., which is now part of Abbott Diabetes Care. In 2000, they introduced the first painless blood glucose monitoring FreeStyleTM system (2010 sales $ 650 million) and in 2008, the FreeStyle NavigatorTM continuous glucose monitoring system. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (1987) and received honorary degrees from the Collége de France, Uppsala Univ., Tokyo University, Queens College, as well as awards and medals form the ECS, AICHE, ACS, Society of German Chemists and Royal Society of Chemistry (UK).
At a 2008 White House ceremony, President Bush presented him with the 2007 US National Medal of Technology and Innovation.