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Jessica Atwell, PhD

  • Assistant Scientist

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

415 N. Washington Street
4th Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21205

410-955-6931

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JHSPH PAVE Program

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Education

PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2016
MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2011
BA, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2005
BS, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2005

Overview

Jessica E. Atwell, PhD, MPH is an Assistant Scientist in the Department of International Health in the Bloomberg School of Public Health and works with both the Center for Immunization Research and the Center for American Indian Health. Prior to earning her PhD in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control at JHSPH, Dr. Atwell specialized in molecular characterization of outbreaks of enteric and vaccine-preventable disease. She has expertise in the impact of vaccine hesitancy on pertussis resurgence, and has worked with both Gavi and PATH on issues related to new vaccine introduction in low-income countries.

Dr. Atwell’s current research focus is on respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and maternal immunization. She has worked to understand and address challenges to maternal immunization, both biologic and behavioral, including maternal conditions (e.g. malaria and hypergammaglobulinemia) that may impair transplacental transfer of RSV antibody, the complexities of defining severe RSV disease for clinical trial endpoints, and barriers to uptake of vaccines in pregnancy among American Indian populations in the Southwest. She also studies the epidemiology of RSV and other respiratory viruses among children in tropical and low-resource settings, and the impact of severe respiratory infections in early childhood on lung function and asthma in older children.

She is a co-instructor of Vaccine Development and Application with Dr. Ruth Karron and Dr. Laura Hammitt and the Program Manager of the JHVI-sponsored student internship program, the Program in Applied Vaccine Experiences (PAVE).

Honors and Awards

2016 - Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society Induction

2015, 2013 - The Clements-Mann Fellowship in Vaccine Sciences, JHSPH

2015 - Distinguished Student Award, JHSPH

2014 - Young Investigator Award, second tier mention, American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

2011 - MPH Capstone Award for Outstanding Achievement

2007 - Superior Performance Award, California Department of Public Health

  • Immunization
  • Vaccines
  • Infectious Disease
  • Maternal Immunization
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus
  • Pertussis

Selected publications from the last 10 years:

  • Atwell J.E., Karron R.A. Vaccination against respiratory syncytial virus in pregnancy.  Lancet Infect Dis. 2016 Dec;16(12):1330-1331.
  • Atwell, J.E., Geoghegan, S., Karron, R.A., Polack, F.P. Clinical predictors of critical respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) illness in infants and children: data to inform case definitions for efficacy trials. J Infect Dis. 2016 Dec 1;214(11):1712-1716
  • Atwell, J.E., Thumar, B., Robinson, L.J., Tobby, R., Yambo, P., Ome-Kaius, M., Siba, P.M., Unger, H.W., Rogerson, S.J., King, C.L., Karron, R.A. Impact of placental malaria and hypergammaglobulinemia on transplacental transfer of respiratory syncytial virus antibody in Papua New Guinea. JID. 2015. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiv401
  • Lee, L.A., Franzel, L., Atwell, J., Datta, D., Friberg, I.K., Goldie, S.J., Reef, S.E., Schwalbe, N., Simons, E., Strebel, P.M., Sweet, S., Suraratdesch, C., Tam, Y., Vynnycky, E., Walker, N., Walker, D.G., Hansen P.M. The estimated mortality impact of vaccinations forecasted to be administered during 2011-2020 in 73 countries supported by the GAVI Alliance. Vaccine. 2013 Apr:31:B61-B72.
  • Atwell, J.E., Van Otterloo, J., Zipprich, J., Winter, K., Harriman, K., Salmon, D.A., Halsey, N.A., Omer, S.B. Nonmedical vaccine exemptions and pertussis in California, 2010. Pediatrics. 2013 Sep 30:132(4) 624-30.