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Susan Gail Sherman, PhD

  • Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

624 N. Broadway
Hamton House 749
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


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PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2000
MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1996
BA, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, 1989


Dr. Susan Sherman is a Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society who focuses on improving the health of marginalized populations, particularly that of drug users and sex workers. She is interested in the structural drivers of health and risk in both the conduct of observational and intervention research. She has over 17 years of experience in developing and evaluating HIV prevention, peer-outreach behavioral and microenterprise interventions in Baltimore, Pakistan, Thailand, and India. She is the Co-Director of the Baltimore HIV Collaboratory and a part of the Executive Leadership Committee of the Johns Hopkins Center for AIDS Research. She co-leads the Addiction and Overdose workgroup of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. She is the PI of a study that examines the role of the police on the STI/HIV risk environment of street-based sex workers and includes the first cohort of sex workers in the US. She is also evaluating an innovative pre-booking diversion program for low level drug offenders. She has a new study which focusing on the effects of a structural level intervention with sex workers in Baltimore, which will create a full service drop-in center for sex workers in Baltimore. She serves on several Baltimore City and state advisory commissions on syringe exchange and overdose prevention initiatives, as well as the Board Secretary of the National Harm Reduction Coalition.

Honors and Awards

2011 Advising, Mentoring & Teaching Recognitions Award, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

2006 Advising, Mentoring & Teaching Recognitions Award, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

2002 Delta Omega Society

1997-2000 NIMH Predoctoral Training Grantee, Office of AIDS

  • social and behavioral sciences
  • risk environment
  • structural risk and interventions
  • female sex workers
  • drug users
  • economic empowerment
  • overdose prevention
  • gender empowerment
  • police
  • Baltimore

Selected publications focused on a few key areas of my research: the HIV risk environment; structural determinants of health; the intersection of public health and public safety; and economic development as HIV prevention.

  • Sherman, SG, Brantley, MR, Zelaya, C, Duong Q, Taylor RB, Ellen JM. The development of an HIV risk environment scale of exotic dance clubs. 2017. AIDS and Behavior 2017. [Epub ahead of print]). doi:10.1007/s10461-017-1749-y.
  • Brantley MR, Kerrigan D, German D, Lim S, Sherman SG. Identifying patterns of social and economic hardship among structurally vulnerable women: A latent class analysis of HIV/STI risk. AIDS and Behavior 2017. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Footer KH, Silberzahn BE, Tormohlen KN, Sherman SG. Policing practices as a structural determinant for HIV among sex workers: a systematic review of empirical findings. Journal of International AIDS Society. 2016 Jul 18; 19(4 Suppl 3): 20883. doi: 10.7448/IAS.19.4.20883.
  • Cepada JA, Beletsky J, Sawyer A, Serio-Chapman C, Smelyanskaya M, Han J, Robinowitz N, Sherman SG. (2017). Occupational safety in the age of the opioid crisis: Needle stick injury among Baltimore police.  Journal of Urban Health. 94(1): 100-103. 28105586.
  • Sherman SG, Srikrishnan AK, Rivett KA, Liu SH, Solomon S, Celentano DD (2010). Acceptability of a microenterprise intervention among female sex workers in Chennai India. AIDS and Behavior. 14(3):649-657. PMID: 20352320.