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Maria Merritt, PhD

Core Faculty, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics

Associate Professor

Departmental Affiliation(s):

International Health
Division: Health Systems

Center & Institute Affiliation(s):

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E8150
Baltimore , Maryland   21205


SciVal Experts Research Profile


PhD , University of California, Berkeley , 1999


Maria Merritt is a core faculty member of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, where she is a faculty affiliate and advisory board member of the Johns Hopkins-Fogarty African Bioethics Training Program.

Dr. Merritt's primary area of research interest is the ethics of public health research in low-resource settings, particularly regarding questions about whether, for what reasons, and to what extent researchers have ethical responsibilities to benefit individual research participants and host populations. A secondary area of research interest, in affiliation with the nationwide Moral Psychology Research Group (MPRG), is moral psychology: the study of feeling, thought, and action in morally significant contexts.


Honors and Awards

Recognition for teaching excellence as principal instructor of JHSPH course, Ethics of Public Health Practice in Developing Countries (221.616.01), 4th term 2012-13 and 2011-12

Co-Investigator, NIH award number 1R01AI085147-01A1, 2010-14, "Ancillary Care in Community-Based Research: Deciding What to Do" (PI Holly A. Taylor; award issued by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics career development award, 2009-12, “Researchers’ Obligations in Community-Based Research: Resolving Dilemmas of Care”

Faculty Innovation Fund, 2007-08, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, "Ancillary Care in Public Health Intervention Research in Resource-Limited Settings: Researchers' Practices and Decision-Making"(Co-PI Holly A. Taylor)

Faculty Fellow, Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics, Harvard University, 2005-06

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Clinical Bioethics, National Institutes of Health, 2000-02

Rhodes Scholar, Oxford University, 1987-90

Bioethics, Global Health, International Research Ethics, Public Health Ethics, Moral Philosophy, Moral Psychology

  • Merritt MW, Taylor HA, “Responsibilities to Plan for Ancillary Care Pose Ethical Challenges for Nutrition Research in the Community Setting,” Journal of Nutrition, in press (2012)

  • Dowdy DW, Gounder CR, Corbett EL, Ngwira LG, Chaisson RE, Merritt MW, “The Ethics of Testing a Test: Randomized Trials of the Health Impact of Diagnostic Tests for Infectious Diseases,” Clinical Infectious Diseases, in press (2012); published online ahead of print: 23 Aug 2012 doi: 10.1093/cid/cis736

  • Taylor HA, Merritt MW, "Provision of Community-Wide Benefits in Public Health Intervention Research: The Experience of Investigators Conducting Research in the Community Setting in South Asia," Developing World Bioethics, 12 (3) (2012): 157-163

  • Merritt MW, “Health Researchers’ Ancillary Care Obligations in Low-Resource Settings: How Can We Tell What Is Morally Required?” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, 21 (4) (2011): 311-347

  • Taylor HA, Merritt MW, Mullany LC, “Ancillary Care in Public Health Intervention Research in Low-resource Settings: Researchers’ Practices and Decision-Making,” Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics (JERHRE), 6(3) (2011): 73-81