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Lori H. Erby, PhD

  • Associate Professor - Adjunct

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

31 Center Drive
Building 31, Room B1B36
Bethesda, Maryland 20892


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PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2006
MSc, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2001


I currently serve as the Associate Director of the NHGRI/Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Genetic Counseling Training Program. While I am employed at the NHGRI, I maintain close collaborations with colleagues at Johns Hopkins and teach within the training program.

My research focuses on communication within the genetics/genomics context. Particularly, I am interested in providing evidence to inform who needs what kind of communication at what point in time, delivered by what kind of of media. I ask questions related to how variation in the process of communication in genetic counseling links to outcomes for clients. I have a specific interest in understanding how to most appropriately tailor communication to populations with cognitive difficulties or limited literacy. I have worked with Debra Roter on the largest study of routine genetic counseling communication done to date and am currently involved in a study in collaboration with Robert Green's REVEAL project to understand the Alzheimer's risk disclosure process with individuals with mild cognitive impairment. I also have emerging interests in the outcomes of genomics communication beyond the interpersonal clinical interaction as well as an interest in translating evidence of communication best practices into the healthcare training environment.

Honors and Awards

Delta Omega Honor Society, 2006

  • genetic counseling
  • genetics
  • psychosocial issues in genetics
  • patient-provider communication
  • communication
  • health literacy

Selected publications

  • Erby LH, Roter DL, Biesecker BB (2011) Examination of standardized patient performance: Accuracy and consistency of six standardized patients over time. Patient Education and Counseling 85:194-200. PMC3158971
  • Schaa KL, Roter DL, Biesecker BB, Cooper LA, and Erby LH (2015) Genetic counselors’ implicit racial attitudes and their relationship to communication. Health Psychology 34: 111-9. PMID: 25622081
  • Erby LH, Roter D, Larson S, Cho J (2008) The Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Genetics (REAL-G): A means to assess literacy deficits in the context of genetics. American Journal of Medical Genetics 146A:174-181. PMID:18076116
  • Rodriguez SA, Roter DL, Castillo-Salgado C, Hooker GW, Erby LH (2015) Translation and validation of a Spanish-language genetic health literacy screening tool. Health Psych. PMID: 25622082
  • Roter DL, Erby LH, Rimal RN, Smith KC, Larson SL, Bennett IM, Cole KW, Guan Y, Molloy M, Bienstock J (2015) Empowering women’s prenatal communication: does literacy matter? Journal of Health Communication 20 Suppl 2: 60-8. PMID 26513032