Faculty and Staff
The Center is made up of public health professionals, researchers, health workers, lawyers and advocates dedicated to improving health and promoting social justice through education, research and advocacy in accordance with the International Declaration of Health Rights.
Leonard Rubenstein, JD
Conflict and Health Program Director
Professor of the Practice, Epidemiology
Len Rubenstein is Professor of the Practice in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Director of the Program in Human Rights, Health and Conflict. He is also a core faculty member the Berman Institute of Bioethics and the Center for Humanitarian Health at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to coming to Johns Hopkins, Len was a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and before that Executive Director and President of Physicians for Human Rights. He is graduate of Wesleyan University and Harvard Law School.
Len is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Public Health Association’s Sidel-Levy Award for Peace. He founded and chairs the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition and is the author of Perilous Medicine: The Struggle to Protect Health Care from the Violence of War.
Stefan Baral, MD, MPH, MBA
Stefan Baral is a physician epidemiologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (JHSPH). Stefan completed his certification in Community Medicine as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and Family medicine with the Canadian Council of Family Physicians. Stefan has also been involved in HIV epidemiology, prevention, and implementation research focused on the epidemiology, human rights contexts, and effective interventions for gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender women, and female sex workers across Western and Central, and Southern Africa and parts of Asia with support from USAID, CDC, NIH, amfAR, and the Global Fund.
Michele R. Decker, ScD, MPH
Bloomberg Professor of American Health, Population, Family and Reproductive Health
Michele Decker, is an Bloomberg Professor of American Health in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She directs the Women's Health & Rights Program of the Center for Public Health & Human Rights. A social epidemiologist by training, her research focuses on gender-based violence (e.g., sexual assault, intimate partner violence, sex trafficking), its prevention, and its implications for sexual and reproductive health (e.g., STI/HIV, unintended pregnancy). Much of this work involves marginalized populations including urban women, adolescents and those involved in transactional sex or sex work. Her work includes clinic-based intervention efforts to mitigate the health consequences of violence, as well as primary research to understand the mechanisms by which violence influences sexual health and HIV risk. She blends large-scale quantitative investigations with qualitative methods. She works domestically as well as in South and Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe/Central Asia.
Kathleen Page, MD
Associate Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Kathleen Page is an Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is an infectious diseases specialist and provides HIV, HCV and substance use disorder care at the Bartlett Clinic and the SPOT mobile clinic. Her work focuses on improving access and quality of care to underserved communities. She co-founded Centro SOL (Center for Salud/Health and Opportunities for Latinos) to meet the health needs of Latino migrants, co-directs the Center for Community and Global Health Equity in Infectious Diseases, and is the Medical Director of The Johns Hopkins Access Partnership, a charity program that provides care to uninsured immigrants with financial need. Her research focuses on migrant health, health disparities, mobile health, and implementation science.
Sheree Schwartz, PhD, MPH
Sheree Schwartz is an HIV epidemiologist with extensive field and implementation experience in Southern Africa. The majority of her work is with women at high risk for HIV infection or women living with HIV, including female sex workers, pregnant women, and women in serodiscordant relationships. The focus of her research is optimization of women’s reproductive health services and HIV care, including safer conception services for HIV-affected couples trying to conceive in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her on-going projects are primarily in South Africa where she has been working since 2008.
Andrea L. Wirtz, PhD, MHS
Andrea Wirtz’s research is dedicated to the field of epidemiologic assessment of infectious disease and health among marginalized populations, including men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender women, and refugees, displaced, and stateless populations. Dr. Wirtz has specific interest in developing measures and methods to assess risks, outcomes and effective health interventions for these populations. Research topics include epidemiological and intervention research related to violence, stigma, disparities in access to healthcare, and infectious disease, particularly HIV infection; implementation science methods for key populations; and capacity building among local, community-based partners. Dr. Wirtz has been involved in research in Russia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Peru.
Javier Cepeda, PhD, MPH
Javier Cepeda, PhD, MPH is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and faculty for the Key Populations Program. His research focuses on characterizing the intersecting epidemics of substance use, blood-borne viruses (e.g. HIV and hepatitis C virus), and justice involvement. He applies methods from epidemiology, mathematical modeling, and economic evaluation to better understand the impact of interventions on health-related outcomes facing people who inject drugs. He conducts research primarily in the United States, Mexico, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan.
Nicholas Cuneo, MD, MPH
Dr. C. Nicholas Cuneo is an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics at the School of Medicine and works as an attending hospitalist in Medicine and Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. A member of the Physicians for Human Rights Asylum Network, Dr. Cuneo has clinical expertise in the physical and psychological evaluation of asylum seekers.
As affiliated faculty with the Migrant Health & Human Rights program, Dr. Cuneo brings a background in qualitative and mixed methods research, with focus on the political determinants of health and human rights, food security, malnutrition, sexual and gender minorities, HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence, and trauma. In addition to conducting research and working closely with refugees and asylum seekers in the United States and on the US-Mexico border, Dr. Cuneo has experience with migrant communities in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, South Africa, and Lebanon.
Katherine Rucinski, PhD, MPH
Kate Rucinski is an Assistant Scientist in the Social and Behavioral Interventions program. Dr. Rucinski is an infectious disease epidemiologist by training with over ten years’ experience conducting HIV-related research globally and in the United States. Dr. Rucinski’s research is focused on optimizing the health and well-being of key populations at the highest risk of HIV acquisition and transmission. Specifically, her research aims to better understand diversity in sexual decision-making to inform more holistic sexual and reproductive health programs for adolescent girls and young women, including young women who sell sex, in sub-Saharan Africa. Her ongoing work is focused on the use of routinely collected observational data to define opportunities for improved HIV service delivery in Southern and Eastern Africa.
Amrita Rao, PhD
Amrita Rao is a social epidemiologist and a Research Associate in the Department of Epidemiology. Amrita completed her ScM and PhD in the Department of Epidemiology at JHSPH. She has broad content interests in understanding and addressing social and structural determinants of health among marginalized populations, including sexual and gender minorities and female sex workers. Amrita has quantitative expertise in longitudinal data analysis and use of routinely collected data for research.
Carrie Lyons, PhD, MPH
Carrie Lyons is an infectious disease epidemiologist and a Research Associate in the Department of Epidemiology. Her research is focused on understanding and addressing social and structural determinants of outcomes and disparities related to infectious diseases. Her research interests include social epidemiology; infectious disease epidemiology; implementation science; social and structural determinants of health; sexual and reproductive health; stigma; and HIV. She received her PhD in infectious disease epidemiology from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and was a Desmond M. Tutu Scholar for Health and Human Rights from 2021 to 2023.
Dee Adams, MSPH
Dee Adams is a Research Program Manager with the Department of Epidemiology. She oversees management of LITE and LITE Connect. Dee’s expertise is on HIV, health, and human rights for key populations - sex workers, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and transgender people. She has conducted research, surveillance, evaluations, and program improvement for key population programs in over 20 countries. She led the development of global WHO implementation guidance documents for men who have sex with men and transgender people and WHO regional guidance for transgender people in Asia and the Pacific. Dee has worked with a plethora of donors and partners including PEPFAR, USAID, CDC, NIH, UNAIDS, UNDP, and WHO. Dee also conducts psychedelic medicine research and advocacy for sexual and gender diverse people. She is working with a team from the Oregon Health & Science University to design MDMA therapy research and programming for gender diverse people. Dee received her Master of Science in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Arielle Hazi, MPH
Arielle Hazi is a Senior Research Program Coordinator with the Key Populations Program. Her work focuses on the role of stigma in HIV prevention, with a specific interest in sexual and gender minorities. Arielle received her MPH in epidemiology of microbial diseases with a concentration in global health from the Yale School of Public Health, where she conducted research on perceptions of PrEP among women in rural South Africa.
Lily Shipp, MSPH
Lily Shipp is a Senior Research Program Coordinator in the Key Populations Program. Her work focuses on optimizing HIV prevention and treatment programming for adolescent girls and young women and female sex workers in South Africa. Lily received her Master of Science in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and also holds a certificate in LGBTQ Public Health from JHSPH. Her research interests focus on using implementation science methods to understand and address the specific contextual factors and health needs of marginalized groups impacted by HIV, including female sex workers and sexual and gender minority populations.
Meg Stevenson, MSPH
Meg is a MSPH graduate in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control from Johns Hopkins. She is interested in infectious diseases and human rights in humanitarian settings and among marginalized populations. She currently coordinates the BIENVENIR Study, working with Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Colombia, and coordinates the online cohort of the LITE Study, working with the transfeminine population in the eastern and southern United States.
Gnilane Turpin, MPH
Gnilane Turpin is a research manager based in the Key Populations Program at the Center for Public Health and Human Rights. In 2014, Gnilane began working for the Program focused on HIV research studies in West and Central Africa with a focus on interventions aiming to reduce stigma against key populations, particularly female sex workers and men having sex with men. Before she started working internationally, Gnilane consistently engaged in work addressing structural risk determinants spending a number of years as a frontline counselor and outreach worker in violence against women and child assault prevention programs. Gnilane is fluent in several languages with work experience being based in Senegal, Italy, Canada, and now at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Throughout this work, Gnilane has demonstrated a commitment to a career in serving those most disenfranchised in the HIV response.
Kalai Willis, MSPH
Kalai Willis is a Senior Research Program Coordinator for the Key Populations Investment Fund in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her work focuses on using the evidence-based tools of public health to support HIV prevention and treatment programs for marginalized populations. Kalai has completed her Master of Science in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and has professional training in both health promotion and business marketing. Her research interests form at the intersection of her training with a focus on HIV-related implementation science across the spectrum of health inequity among marginalized populations.
David Celentano, ScD
David Celentano, ScD '77, MHS '75, is Professor and Charles Armstrong Chair of the Department of Epidemiology, with joint appointments in International Health, Health, Society and Behavior and Medicine (School of Medicine). His research integrates behavioral science theory and research with epidemiology methods in the study of behavioral and social epidemiology. While originally trained in a chronic disease paradigm (alcoholism and cancer control), he began his research in HIV/AIDS and STDs in the early 1980s. He has worked on some of the major cohort studies (ALIVE, MACS) in HIV epidemiology, as well as conducted intervention research in the USA for heterosexual men and women, injection drug users, and young men who have sex with men.
Gabriel Baron Eber, JD, MPH
Gabe Eber is an Associate in the Department of Epidemiology where he focuses on the intersection of health, criminal justice, and human rights. An experienced attorney who seeks to improve health care access and quality for detained populations both domestically and abroad, Gabe has litigated several landmark class actions on behalf of prisoners and detainees. In the Department of Epidemiology, he designed, launched, and teaches Prisons, Public Health, and Human Rights, for which he has received multiple teaching awards. He has been an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, is a member of the editorial boards of both the Journal of Correctional Health Care and International Journal of Prisoner Health, a member of the Board of Directors of the Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health, and holds the Certified Correctional Health Professional (CCHP) credential from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. He and colleagues Len Rubenstein and Gilbert Burnham have collaborated with the International Committee of the Red Cross to co-sponsor summer trainings on health and human rights in detention settings for international audiences. In addition, he speaks and writes on the use of solitary confinement, death rows, and other forms of cruel and degrading treatment and was the co-author of the American Public Health Association’s policy statement on the topic. He has worked to improve medical care, mental health care, environmental health, and other conditions of confinement in jails and prisons in Baltimore, Mississippi, Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Jason Farley, PhD, MPH, ANP-BC, FAAN, AACRN
Jason Farley is an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and a nurse practitioner in the Division of Infectious Diseases within the Johns Hopkins AIDS Service. He holds adjunct faculty appointments at the University KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa and the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Farley's research seeks to optimize the prevention and management of HIV infection with a particular emphasis on drug-resistant tuberculosis among persons with HIV in international settings. His work is supported through NIH, CDC-SA, HRSA, Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria as well as many others. Through coordination and capacity development of an international team, Dr. Farley has led the development and scale-up of a program to enhance diagnosis, linkage, and retention in care for patients with drug-resistant TB/HIV co-infection. This includes the development of a smartphone application known as miLINC. In the U.S., he is a leader in pre-exposure prophylaxis, working with the Baltimore City Health Department to implement a citywide initiative to increase access and retention of PrEP services in men who have sex with men. Through this effort, Dr. Farley has led the development of a smartphone application known as PrEPme, which will be implemented across Maryland. He is the Johns Hopkins HIV Prevention Trials Network site leader within the Hopkins School of Medicine and founder of the REACH Institute of the School of Nursing. He is president of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC), the world's largest HIV-focused nursing organization.
Nancy E. Glass, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN
Nancy Glass is a nurse clinician, researcher, cross-discipline bridge builder, and educator. Her research and practice expertise in public health, health disparities, and intimate partner violence reflect the focus of the School of Nursing and Johns Hopkins University on global health threats, particularly in developing countries. Her research centers on clinical care and intervention in the areas of violence prevention and health disparities. With funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she is conducting three major studies on intimate partner violence. As an associate director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health—a program that bridges the international work of the university's schools of Nursing, Medicine, and Public Health—and an ambassador for ResearchAmerica's Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research, Dr. Glass serves as a global health scientist-advocate. She also is a past-president of the Nursing Network on Violence Against Women, International. In all her global outreach roles, Dr. Glass works to educate policymakers, thought leaders, the media, and the public about the importance of global health research.
Nancy Kass, ScD
Nancy Kass, ScD, is the Phoebe R. Berman Professor of Bioethics and Public Health, in the Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Deputy Director for Public Health in the Berman Institute of Bioethics. Dr. Kass received her BA from Stanford University, completed doctoral training in health policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and was awarded a National Research Service Award to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in bioethics at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University. Dr. Kass conducts empirical work in bioethics and health policy.
Current research projects examine ethics for a learning healthcare system including quality improvement and comparative effectiveness, informed consent in randomized trials, ethics issues that arise in international health research and ethics and public health preparedness. Dr. Kass teaches the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s course on U.S. and International Research Ethics and Integrity, is the director of the School’s PhD program in bioethics and health policy, and is the director of the Johns Hopkins Fogarty African Bioethics Training Program. Dr. Kass is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and a Fellow of the Hastings Center.
Deanna Kerrigan, PhD
Dr. Deanna Kerrigan is an Adjunct Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has been engaged in public health intervention research with a focus on the study of social and structural factors influencing the adoption of health-promoting behaviors related to HIV prevention and care since 1995. A significant portion of her research has focused on evaluating the role and impact of environmental-structural factors related to HIV outcomes among marginalized groups, including female sex workers, people living with HIV and disadvantaged youth. She recently directed a large-scale, global HIV prevention operations research portfolio funded by USAID, Project Search: Research to Prevention (R2P). She is the Co-Director of the Prevention Core of the Johns Hopkins Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). Her current work focuses on Tanzania, the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Baltimore. She previously served as a Program Officer in the area of Sexuality, Reproductive Health and Rights for the Ford Foundation in Brazil.
Shruti Mehta, PhD
Dr. Shruti Mehta's primary research interests include working with hard-to reach populations to understand the epidemiology, natural and treated history of HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV/HCV co-infection; populations of interest include injection drug users and men who have sex with men as well as their sexual partners in both Baltimore and international settings, particularly India. Special interest in identifying and overcoming barriers to care and treatment of HIV and hepatitis C virus among such populations.
Luke Mullany, PhD
Luke Mullany's overall research aims to increase infant and neonatal survival in low-resource settings through the development of effective, low-cost interventions that may be implemented at the community level. Current activities include investigation of sunflower seed oil as a topical emollient therapy for reduced infection and mortality, mode(s)/mechanism of action of sunflower seed oil and skin barrier function and integrity, expanding the use of oxytocin for prevention and treatment of PPH beyond facility deliveries, uterotonic use in home and facility deliveries in South Asia, etiology of neonatal infections, role of community based workers in neonatal/maternal health.
He is also interested in the impact of human rights violations on population health, and the application of epidemiological tools to investigate this relationship.
Jean Nachega, MD
Dr. Jean Nachega is an Infectious Diseases Internist trained in Epidemiology, Health Economics, Tropical Public Health & Medicine. His research, teaching, and professional activities include planning, design, monitoring, and evaluation of clinical trials, cohort studies & programs for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS & Tuberculosis.
Jill Owczarzak, PhD
Jill Owczarzak is a medical anthropologist with expertise in qualitative research methods, exploring the influence of cultural, social, and political forces on health disparities, and the ways in which frontline service providers use evidence-based HIV prevention interventions. She has led numerous NIH-funded research projects including one to explore the effects of organizational characteristics and implementation fidelity on the effectiveness of the HIV prevention intervention SISTA and another which looked at HIV prevention intervention development and implementation among nongovernmental organizations that work with intravenous drug users in Ukraine. Additionally, she has trained research staff, current and past postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and other faculty in qualitative research methods and data analysis. She has worked with and mentored several postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty, and doctoral students to mentor and train them in the integration of qualitative methods into research projects on a broad range of topics related to HIV and its prevention. She also collaborates with faculty in the design and implementation of research projects that incorporate qualitative methods and perspectives.
Tonia Poteat, PhD
Tonia Poteat was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research, teaching, and practice focus on LGBT health and HIV prevention, care, and treatment with particular attention to transgender health disparities. In addition to her academic work, Dr. Poteat is a certified HIV specialist by the American Academy of HIV Medicine and provides care for people living with HIV at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Prior to joining the Center, she served as the Senior Advisor for Key Populations in the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator.
Courtland Robinson, PhD
W. Courtland Robinson is an Associate Professor at the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. He has been involved in refugee research and policy analysis since 1979. The non-governmental organizations and academic institutions with whom Dr. Robinson has worked include the Indochina Refugee Action Center, Save the Children, World Education, the U.S. Committee for Refugees, the Asian Research Center for Migration, and Mercy Corps. He is the author of numerous studies on refugee issues, particularly in Asia. His book, Terms of Refuge: The Indochinese Exodus and the International Response (1998, Zed Books), was selected by the Humanitarian Times as one of the ten best books for 1999. His current research activities include famine and distress migration in North Korea, demographic assessment methods in complex emergencies, and development-induced displacement.
Bushra Sabri, PhD
Dr. Bushra Sabri is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. She has been involved in several funded research projects focusing on interpersonal violence across the lifespan (i.e., childhood, adolescence and adulthood), including risk factors and health outcomes of violence. Her recent work centered on issues related to intimate partner violence among minority and immigrant women and sexual assault experiences among university students. She has worked with immigrants from Asia, Latin America and Africa to culturally adapt and evaluate risk assessment and safety planning intervention for intimate partner violence. She has also worked on multiple research projects in South Asia. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Sabri is currently focusing on the intersecting epidemics of violence/trauma, HIV, reproductive and sexual health problems among women, role of physiological stress responses in coping and adaptation to traumatic life events, and biopsychosocial approach to trauma-informed interventions for at risk women from diverse backgrounds. Dr. Sabri’s long-term goal is to develop interventions that contribute to reducing health disparities among vulnerable, underserved and marginalized populations.
Susan Sherman, PhD
Susan Sherman is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology who focuses on improving the health of marginalized populations, particularly that of drug users and sex workers. Her research among drug users has largely focused on harm reduction, HIV prevention, economic development, and overdose prevention and response. She has been involved in several large, randomized, peer outreach intervention trials that has aimed to reduce HIV and related risk behaviors among drug users in Thailand, Baltimore, and Pakistan. She is also working to examine the effects of economic empowerment on reducing sexual risk behaviors among sex workers in India. She utilizes both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. She is also interested in the relationship between gender norms and sexual risk behaviors among adolescents.
Sonal Singh MD, MPH
Dr. Sonal Singh is a physician-scientist with a commitment to transdisciplinary research. His research aims to translate evidence into sound public policy and clinical care for patients by ensuring that stakeholders are well informed about treatment choices to make evidence based decisions. He has epidemiologic expertise in the conduct of rigorous systematic reviews, observational studies, multi-criteria decision analysis and benefit-risk assessment of drugs. Dr. Singh’s international portfolio includes developing a new scale to measure human rights violations among men who have sex with men in Nepal. He has been involved in multiple research projects including studies of sexual violence against women and a new scale to measure attack on health workers workers in conflict settings. He teaches courses in systematic reviews, evidence based medicine and human rights methods. As a general internist with an outpatient practice, Dr. Singh provides regular clinical care to patients.
Pamela Surkan, PhD, ScD
Dr. Pamela Surkan's main research objective is to study how social determinants influence health. Her interests are largely cross-disciplinary. They focus on examining interactions between social conditions and other factors that impact health, such as dietary behaviors and environmental exposures. To date, much of her work has been about the role of maternal mental health, social support and familial environment on early growth and childhood development. International collaborations have included work in Brazil, Sweden, Haiti, and Mexico.
Nick Thomson, PhD, MPH
Nick Thomson is a public health and human rights trained epidemiologist who has spent the last 20 years living and working across the Indo-Pacific. Initially his focus of work was on HIV prevention among at risk groups in SE Asia before becoming specializing in the intersection between security sectors, public health and civil society and the role of multi-agency partnerships in supporting public health responses to infectious disease in complex settings. This work led to extensive work with police, health and civil society groups across South, South East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe to better understand how to support environments for infectious disease prevention and response in complex settings. Nick is currently the Senior Health Advisor at the Australian Pacific Security College at the Australian National University in Canberra where he also teaches the Pandemics and National Security program. He leads efforts with partners seeking to enhance multi-agency approaches to non-traditional security threats such as climate, food security, water and biological threats. He also has ongoing interest in the role of disinformation as a threat to health.