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Laura K. Murray, PhD

  • Senior Scientist

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

624 N. Broadway
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


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PhD, Western Michigan University, 2002
MA, Western Michigan University, 1999
BS, Drake University, 1996


Dr. Laura Murray is an Associate Scientist at Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health in the Department of Mental Health and International Health; a clinical psychologist by training. She is a co-founder of the Applied Mental Health Research group, which has developed and refined a Design, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation (DIME) methodology for use with mental and behavioral health initiatives in low-resource countries. Dr. Murray has extensive expertise in a wide range of evidence-based treatments for mental and behavioral problems. She has conducted research in a wide range of countries ranging from qualitatively understanding mental health, to full randomized trials of treatments. She was PI and completed a USAID DCOF-funded randomized controlled trial of Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) with HIV-affected orphans and vulnerable children exposed to violent events. Dr. Murray is PI on a NICHD R01 to conduct a randomized controlled trial of a mental health intervention (TF-CBT) and psychosocial counseling for HIV-affected adolescents in Zambia, with a primary outcome of HIV risk behaviors. Dr. Murray is co-developer of the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA) – a modular, flexible multi-problem transdiagnostic approach built to address implementation and sustainability barriers. CETA has been evaluated in 3 large randomized clinical trials and one open trial showing effectiveness on depression, trauma, violence, anxiety, substance misuse, relationship problems, aggression, and safety in high-risk situations. Dr. Murray also regularly consults on global health systems design and implementation processes of evidence-based programs in low-resource countries. She has developed organizational interventions and consults to staff at all levels within an organization. Dr. Murray publishes extensively on global mental health in top journals and regularly speaks at conferences.

  • Dissemination and Implementation research, Child trauma/disasters, Evidence-based mental health assessment and treatment, Intersection of HIV and Mental Health, Cross-cultural
  • Implementation of health systems

Selected Publications

  • Murray LK, Skavenski S, Kane JC, Mayeya J, Dorsey S, Cohen JA, Michalopoulos LT, Imasiku M, Bolton PA. Effectiveness of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy among Trauma-Affected Children in Lusaka, Zambia; A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Pediatrics. 2015 Aug 1; 169(8): 761-9. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.0580.
  • Murray LK & Jordans MJD. Rethinking the service delivery system of psychological interventions in low and middle income countries. BMC Psychiatry, 2016, 16:234. DOI 10.1186/s12888-016-0938-y.
  • Murray LK, Dorsey S, Bolton P, Jordans MJ, Rahman A, Bass J, Verdeli H. Building Capacity in Mental Health Interventions in Low-resource countries: An Apprenticeship Model for Training Local Providers. International Journal of Mental Health Systems. 2011; Nov 18;5(1):30. doi: 10.1186/1752-4458-5-30. PMID:22099582. PMCID: PMC3284435
  • Murray LK, Dorsey S, Haroz E, Lee C, Alsiary M, Haydary A, Weiss WM, & Bolton P. A common elements treatment approach for adult mental health problems in low and middle income countries. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. 2013, doi: 10.1016/j.cbpra.2013.06.005. NIHMSID # 631001
  • Murray LK, Hall BJ, Dorsey S, Ugueto AM, Puffer ES, Sim A, Ismael A, Bass J, Akiba C, Lucid L, Harrison J, Erikson A, Bolton P. An evaluation of a common elements approach for youth in Somali refugee camps. Global Mental Health. 2018, 5, e16, page 1 of 15. doi:10.1017/gmh.2018.7
  • Clinical Trial on the Effectiveness of CETA for Violence and Substance Use in Zambia