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Emily S. Gurley, PhD

  • Associate Scientist

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E6011
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


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PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2012
MPH, Emory University, 2002
BA, Oglethorpe University, 1996


Dr. Gurley has worked in public health research in Bangladesh since 2003, and she spent 12 years at the icddr,b (International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Bangladesh) where she led the Surveillance and Outbreak Investigation Unit, and served as Director of the Program on Emerging Infections. She worked closely with the US CDC and the Government of Bangladesh to establish national surveillance for meningo-encephalitis, respiratory infections, acute gastroenteritis, acute hepatitis, and hospital acquired infections, with a focus on developing junior scientists.

Dr. Gurley leads multi-disciplinary studies on the transmission, burden and epidemiology of a variety of emerging and vaccine preventable diseases, taking into account the ecological context in which human disease occurs. Her interests include improving the communication and collaboration between field epidemiologists and infectious disease modelers and development of novel surveillance and outbreak detection strategies. She has been working to describe the ecology and epidemiology of Nipah virus since 2004, including identifying transmission pathways and drivers of person-to-person transmission, and designing and testing interventions to prevent human infection. She currently serves on WHO's Nipah Virus Taskforce, advising on the research and development of medical countermeasures.

Her research adopts a One Health approach to the study and prevention of infectious disease, taking into account the ecological context in which human disease occurs. Emily is the Co-Director for the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) site in Bangladesh, aiming to determine the etiology of and prevent child deaths. She also works closely with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Global Disease Detection program.

Honors and Awards

Excellence in the US COVID-19 Public Health Practice for Coursera course COVID-19 Contact Tracing, 2021

Coursera Outstanding Achievement Award for Innovation for the COVID-19 Contact Tracing course, 2021

Shikani/El-Hibri Prize for Discovery and Innovation for contributions to the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School or Public Health, 2020.

Paper selected as one of 6 best articles published in Indoor Air during 2014 – 2016:

Salje H, Gurley ES, Homaira N, Ram PK, Haque R, Petri W, Bresee J, Moss WJ, Lessler J, Luby SP, Breysse P, Azziz-Baumgartner E. Daily patterns of indoor particulate matter concentrations in a low-income community in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Indoor Air, 2014; DOI:10.1111/ina.12065.

Paper selected as one of the 10 best articles published in American Journal of Epidemiology in 2014: Gurley ES, Salje H, Homaira N, Ram PK, Haque R, Petri W, Bresee J, Moss WJ, Luby SP, Breysse P, Azziz-Baumgartner E. Indoor exposure to particulate matter and children’s age at first acute lower respiratory infection in a low-income, urban community in Bangladesh. American Journal of Epidemiology, Mar 2014;doi: 10.1093/aje/kwu002.

Paper nominated for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2013 Charles C. Shepard Science Award: Rahman MA, Hossain MJ, Sultana S, Homaira N, Khan MSU, Rahman M, Gurley ES, Rollin PE, Comer JA, Lowe L, Rota PA, Ksiazek TG, Kenah E, Sharker Y, Luby SP. Date palm sap linked to a Nipah virus outbreak in Bangladesh, 2008. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 2012 Jan; 12(1): 65-72.

Inaugural recipient of the Abe Lilienfeld student award for excellence in applied epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2011

Spirit of Oglethorpe Award, Oglethorpe University Alumni Association, 2010

Emory University Women’s Club Scholar, 2002

OC Hubert Fellow, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 2001

  • infectious diseases
  • emerging infections
  • One Health
  • surveillance
  • outbreak investigation
  • Nipah virus
  • arboviruses

Selected publications

  • Nikolay B, Salje H, Hossain MJ, Khan AKMD, Sazzad HMS, Rahman M, Daszak P, Ströher U, Pulliam JRC, Kilpatrick AM, Nichol ST, Klena JD, Sultana S, Afroj S, Luby SP, Cauchemez S†, Gurley ES†. Transmission of Nipah virus: 14 years of investigations in Bangladesh. †Denotes shared senior authorship. New England Journal of Medicine, 2019 May: 380(19): 1804-1814.
  • Nikolay B, Salje H, Sturm-Ramirez K, Azziz-Baumgartner E, Homaira N, Ahmed M, Iuliano AD, Paul RC, Rahman M, Hossain MJ, Luby SP, Cauchemez S†, Gurley ES†. Evaluating hospital-based surveillance for outbreak detection: Bangladesh as a case study. †Denotes shared senior authorship. PLOS Medicine, 2017 Jan; 14(1): e1002218. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002218
  • Lee EC, Wada NI, Grabowski MK, Gurley ES, Lessler J. The engines of SARS-CoV-2 spread. Science. 2020 Oct: 370(6515): 406-407.
  • McKee C, Islam A, Luby SP, Salje H, Hudson PJ, Plowright RK, Gurley ES. The ecology of Nipah virus in Bangladesh: a nexus of land use change and opportunistic feeding behavior in bats. Viruses. Feb 2021: 13(2): 169.
  • Taylor AW, Blau DM, Bassat Q, Onyango D, Kotloff K, Arifeen SE, Mandomando I, Chawana R, Baillie V, Akelo V, Tapia M, Salzberg N, Keita A, Morris T, Nair S, Assefa N, Seale A, Scott A, Kaiser R, Jambai A, Barr B, Gurley ES, Ordi J, Zaki SR, Sow SO, Islam F, Rahman A, Dowell SF, Raghunathan PL, Koplan JP, Madhi SA, Breiman RF. Initial findings from the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) Network: a novel approach for child mortality surveillance. Lancet Global Health. Jul 2020: 8 (7): E909 – E919.