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Larissa Jennings Mayo-Wilson, PhD

  • Associate Professor - Adjunct

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PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2009
MHS, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2005
BA, Harvard University, 2001


Research Interests

I am a reproductive health behavioral scientist with training in biostatistics, epidemiology, program evaluation and social anthropology.  My research has largely centered on perinatal health services research in developing countries. I have several years of research field and programmatic experience designing and evaluating maternal, newborn, and HIV-related health behavioral programs.

Recently, I have been pursuing a new line of research that focuses on the design and evaluation of small-scale economic strengthening activities (entrepreneurship, livelihood, youth savings accounts, cash incentives, and financial or vocational training) to address sexual and reproductive health disparities among adolescents and young adults in the U.S. and in developing countries. I am also interested in the use of mobile and social networking technologies to mitigate economic health disparities. My current research spans across several health disparity populations, including: African-American unstably housed youth, reservation-based Native American adolescents, post-conflict Congolese youth, and Kenyan young adults living in urban slums. My research draws on a combination of research methodologies, including biostatistics, qualitative research, psychometric analysis, and systematic reviews.

Prior International and U.S.-based field work:

Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Mali, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Thailand, and Bangladesh; Fort Apache, AZ; Baltimore, MD; and Washington D.C.

Languages: English, French


economic-strengthening interventions, asset development, empowerment, poverty reduction health approaches, adolescents, young adults, mHealth, perinatal health, maternal and newborn care, sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, health disparities, homelessness, gender, psychosocial outcomes, biostatistics, qualitative research, social anthropology, mixed methods, implementation research – U.S. minority and underrepresented populations, sub-Saharan Africa

Honors and Awards

  • Research Scientist Career Development Award (K01), National Institutes of Health (NIH), 2015-2020
  • Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching, JHSPH, Qualitative Research, 2014-2015 
  • NIMHD LRP Award in Health Disparities Research, 2014-2016     
  • NIH HPTN Prevention Scholars Award, 2013-2014           
  • NIH PRIDE Scholars Award in Comparative Effectiveness Research, 2013-2014           
  • Leopold Schepp Foundation Language Training Grant, 2006-2007 
  • Minority Health Training Grant, JHSPH, Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, 2005-2009 
  • Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society, JHSPH, 2005  
  • Leopold Schepp Foundation Scholar Award, 2003-2004 


Selected Publications

  • Jennings L, Ssewamala F, Nabunya P. Effect of savings-led economic empowerment on HIV preventive practices among AIDS-orphaned adolescents in rural Uganda: results from the Suubi-Maka randomized experiment. AIDS Care 2016 Mar; 28(3): 273-82.
  • Jennings L, Pettifor A, Hamilton E, Ritchwood TD, Gómez-Olivé FX, MacPhail C, Hughes J, Selin A, Kahn K, and the HPTN 068 Study Team. Economic resources and HIV preventive behaviors among school-enrolled young women in rural South Africa (HPTN 068). AIDS and Behavior 2016 Jun 3.
  • Jennings L, Yang F, Otupiri E, Akinlo A, Okunlola M, Hindin M. Association of household savings and expected future means on delivery with a skilled birth attendant in Ghana and Nigeria: a cross-sectional analysis. Maternal and Child Health. 2016 Jul 27.
  • Jennings L, Lee N, Shore D, Strohminger N, Burgundi A, Conserve DF, Cheskin LJ. U.S. minority homeless youth’s access and use of mobile phones: implications for mHealth intervention design. Journal of Health Communication 2016 Jul; 21(7):725-33.
  • Jennings L, Omoni A, Akerele A, Ibrahim Y, Ekanem E. Disparities in mobile phone use and maternal health service utilization in Nigeria: a population-based survey. International Journal of Medical Informatics 2015; 84: 341-48.