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Bloomberg Professor of American Health

Michele Decker, ScD, leads research at the cutting edge of gender equity, and gender-based violence prevention and response, in close partnership with practitioners and communities most affected.

Contact Info

615 N. Wolfe Street, Room E4142

Research Interests

Women’s health; gender; disparities; sexual and reproductive health; intimate partner violence; sexual assault; gender-based violence; sex workers; sex trafficking; adolescent health; maternal and child health; public health and human rights

Experiences & Accomplishments
Harvard School of Public Health
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Rochester

Michele R. Decker, ScD, MPH, is a Professor in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  She holds an endowed Bloomberg Professorship of American Health, where she leads the Violence Steering Committee. She directs the Women's Health & Rights Program of the Center for Public Health & Human Rights.   A social epidemiologist by training, her research portfolio addresses the epidemiology, social determinants, health impact, and prevention of gender-based violence (GBV) and other gender inequities in diverse global settings, in concert with practitioners and communities most affected, and with diverse extramural support (CDC, NIH, NIJ, OWH). Decker's work includes evaluation of innovative GBV prevention and response strategies including housing supports, clinic-based interventions and tech-based solutions, as well as research in partnership with communities to document violence and understand and mitigate its impact.  She blends  large-scale quantitative investigations with qualitative methods.   She is the founding instructor of the GBV course here at JHSPH.

Select Publications

Selected publications from the last 5 years focused on empowerment, violence and other social determinants of women's sexual/reproductive health including HIV.

  • Decker MR, Crago AL, Chu SK, Sherman SG, Seshu MS, Buthelezi K, Dhaliwal M, Beyrer C.Human rights violations against sex workers: burden and effect on HIV. Lancet. 2015 Jan 10;385(9963):186-99.

  • Decker MR, Wilcox HC, Holliday CN, Webster DW.An Integrated Public Health Approach to Interpersonal Violence and Suicide Prevention and Response. Public Health Rep. 2018 Nov/Dec;133(1_suppl):65S-79S.

  • Decker MR, Grace KT, Holliday CN, Bevilacqua KG, Kaur A, Miller J. Safe and stable housing for intimate partner violence survivors, Maryland, 2019?2020. Am J Public Health. 2022 Apr 14:e1-e6. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35420894.

  • Decker MR, Benning L, Weber KM, Sherman SG, Adedimeji A, Wilson TE, Cohen J, Plankey M, Cohen M, Golub ET. Physical and sexual violence predictors: 20 years of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) Cohort. Am J Prev Med. 2016;51(5):731-742

  • Decker MR, Bevilacqua K, Wood SN, Ngare GW, Thiongo M, Byrne ME, Williams A, Devoto B, Glass N, Heise L, Gichangi P. Gender-based violence during COVID-19 among adolescent girls and young women in Nairobi, Kenya: a mixed-methods prospective study over 18 months. BMJ Glob Health. 2022 Feb;7(2):e007807. PMID: 35210310; PMCID: PMC8882641.

Youth and adult microfinance to improve resilience outcomes in DRC
Sex Workers and Police Promoting Health in Risky Environments (SAPPHIRE) study