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Susan Michelle Gross, PhD

  • Assistant Scientist

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E4543
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


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PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 1996
MPH, San Diego State University, 1989


Dr. Susan M. Gross is a specialist in maternal and child nutrition.  Dr. Gross received her B.S in Nutrition Sciences and Clinical Dietetics from University of California, Berkeley, California and her Master’s in Public Health from San Diego State University.  She earned her Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Maternal and Child Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Hygiene.  She completed an NIH Post-doctoral fellowship in disability research at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. She has been a registered dietitian since 1987 and has been licensed in Maryland since June 2008.Most of Dr. Susan M. Gross’s career has been dedicated to research related to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Dr. Susan M. Gross has been a part of the evaluation team for the Evaluation of the Maryland WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She served as co-investigator for numerous research initiatives related to WIC, including the Breastfeeding Promotion among Low-income Urban WIC Participants and a Literature Review of the Effectiveness of Nutrition Education for Pregnant Women, Breastfeeding Women and Caretakers of Infants.Dr. Gross is also a faculty member of the Department of Population and Family Health Sciences Winter Institute at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  She teaches with Dr. David Paige two courses Nutrition and Growth in Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition Programs, Policy and Politics in the United States: The Impact on Maternal, Child and Family Health

Her research interests include: Maternal and Child Nutrition (specifically breastfeeding promotion and introduction of solid foods in the WIC program as well as childhood obesity and school-based initiatives to promote fruit and vegetable consumption).  Dr. Gross was also instrumental in the creation of the Maryland “Right to Breastfeed” law in 2003.  This law protects a woman’s right to breastfeed in public places.

Honors and Awards

Member, Delta Omega Society, Alpha Chapter, Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Inducted May, 1996

Awarded Published Article of Distinction for 2010 by the Pediatric Nutrition Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association, for Gross SM, Resnik AK, Cross-Barnet C, Nanda JP, Augustyn M, Paige DM. The differential impact of WIC peer counseling programs on breastfeeding initiation across the state of Maryland. J Hum Lact. 2009 Nov; 25(4):435-43. Awarded June, 2010

  • Nutrition, young child nutrition
  • postpartum weight retention
  • children with special health care needs
  • eating disorders
  • school-aged children
  • breastfeeding
  • obesity
  • body image
  • Special Supplementary Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
  • food insecurity

I have listed selected publications for the last 20 years.

  • Gross, S.M., Resnik, A.K., Nanda, J.P., Cross-Barnet, C., Augustyn, M., Kelly, L., and Paige, D.M. (2011). Early postpartum: a critical period in setting the path for breastfeeding success. Breastfeed Medicine, 6, 407-12.
  • Gross, S.M., Pollock, E.D. & Braun, B. (2010). Family influence: Key to fruit and vegetable consumption among fourth- and fifth-grade students. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2010 May 7. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Gross, S.M., Resnik, A.K., Cross-Barnet, C., Nanda, J.P., Augustyn, M., and Paige, D.M. (2009). The differential impact of WIC peer counseling programs on breastfeeding initiation across the state of Maryland. Journal of Human Lactation. 25(4),435-43.
  • Gregory, E.F., Gross, S.M., Nguyen, T.Q., Butz, A.M., and Johnson, S.B. (2016). WIC Participation and Breastfeeding at 3 Months Postpartum. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 20, 1735-44.
  • Gross SM, Augustyn M, Henderson JL, Baig K, Williams CA, Ajao B, Bell-Waddy P, and Paige DM. (2018). Integrating Obstetrical Care and WIC Nutritional Services to Address Maternal Obesity and Postpartum Weight Retention. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 22(6), 794-802.