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Faculty Research Activities

Hoover Adger, Jr, M.D., M.P.H.          

Dr. Adger continues a five-year study of residents' knowledge, attitudes and skills in substance abuse. A major emphasis for him has been on building an infrastructure and funding base for a new program, “The Family Program for the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse.”  He is also the associate director of the strategic planning initiative for a project funded by HRSA to develop a strategic plan that will advise the federal government and others on improving and expanding interdisciplinary and discipline-specific substance abuse disorders-related education and training in medicine, psychology, pharmacy, social work and allied health.

Renata Arrington-Sanders, M.D., M.P.H.  

Dr. Arrington-Sanders’ research focuses on HIV prevention community-based efforts and linking HIV-infected adolescents to care. She is interested in better understanding how partner selection intersects with care-seeking behavior and the role of the African American church in targeting individual, partner, and environmental factors associated with HIV transmission and acquisition among poor urban youth and adults. She currently is working with the Baltimore City Health Department and the CDC to evaluate strategies to identifying at-risk African American  men who have sex with men who are unaware of their HIV status. She recently served as representative for the Maryland AAP on the Maryland General Assembly’s HB781/SB746 Work Group to review the CDC’s revised recommendations for HIV testing and make recommendations on possible changes to current Maryland law for HIV counseling and testing process. She is the principal investigator of the HIV quality improvement project and co-investigator to many projects addressing HIV testing behavior in risky adolescent groups.

Arlene Butz, R.N., C.P.N.P. Sc.D .          

Dr. Butz’ research focuses on community-based research in high-risk children with asthma. She is currently the principal investigator of a randomized trial of asthma communication with their primary care provider. Dr. Butz is also the principal investigator of a randomized trial addressing reducing ETS exposure in the home for inner city children with asthma as part of the Center for Childhood Asthma in the Urban Environment. Previous research involved testing the effectiveness of a home-nurse educational intervention for in-utero drug exposed infants for subsequent cognitive, behavioral, health and social outcomes. Dr. Butz is interested in examining factors associated with appropriate medication use in urban children with asthma as well as improved access to asthma care. 

Tina L. Cheng, M.D., M.P.H.                  

Dr. Cheng’s clinical and research interests are in child and adolescent violence prevention, health disparities, community-based research, teen pregnancy and parenting, and access to care. Early research defined the epidemiology of adolescent injury in the District of Columbia.  Current work involves the design and testing of interventions in DC and Baltimore including randomized trials of a community-based violence prevention intervention with adolescents presenting to the emergency department (MCHB), with high risk sixth graders in “persistently violent” schools (NICHD) and a clinically integrated home visitation program with teen mothers (OPA, RWJ).  Dr. Cheng has been involved in evaluation of innovative primary care models and policy issues on the future of primary care including the Future of Pediatric Education (FOPE II) project, the Health Resources and Services Administration Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry, and the American Board of Pediatrics Residency Review and Redesign Project (R3P).

Robert Dudas, M.D.                                  

Dr. Dudas is an assistant professor in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. He is co-director of the medical student pediatric clerkship and is actively engaged in curriculum development for the School of Medicine. His research interests are in pediatric education for medical students with a focus on clinical skills development in a standardized and explicit curriculum. Other projects include an innovative photograph-based intervention to help families develop better relationships with their healthcare team and another involving assessment of a novel patient safety curriculum introduced to medical students in the pediatric clerkship. In addition, he is developing a newly established pediatric hospitalist program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

Jonathan Ellen, M.D.                      

Dr. Ellen’s research focuses on individual, partner, and environmental factors associated with STD and HIV transmission and acquisition among poor urban youth and adults.  He currently receives extramural funding directly or indirectly from CDC and NIH to support these activities.  He also applies the lessons learned from that research to develop and implement demonstration public health programs, including syphilis elimination and UJIMA mobile clinic for the Baltimore City Health Department.  He also provides national and international leadership for the in development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative public health interventions intended to interrupt STD/HIV transmission among adolescents and young adults.

Nancy Hutton, M.D.                         

Dr. Hutton works in two related fields on a local, national, and international basis: Hospice and Palliative Medicine and HIV Care and Treatment.  Her scholarly work is focused on improving the quality of life of children and adolescents living with serious and life-threatening conditions through the dissemination and use of evidence-based palliative care.  Locally, she is director of the Johns Hopkins Pediatric & Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program, Medical Director of Harriet Lane Compassionate Care, the palliative care program of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, and Pediatric Medical Director for Community Hospice of Maryland.  Nationally she works to assure that pediatrics is represented in palliative care policy, research, and education.  Internationally she works to integrate palliative care with HIV care and treatment through the PEPFAR program, especially in Ethiopia.

Jacky Jennings, M.P.H., Ph.D.             

Dr. Jennings is Associate Director of the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and she is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics with a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Jennings is also the Director of the Center for Child & Community Health Research (CCHR) and Co-Director of a NIAID STI Pre-doctoral (T32) Training Grant.  The most significant impact of Dr. Jennings’ research contributions are in the area of sexually transmitted infection (STI) and HIV transmission dynamics with a specific interest in determining the mechanisms through which place plays a role in local transmission dynamics causing endemic rates of STIs and HIV and extreme racial disparities.  Secondarily, she has begun to make significant research contributions in the application of epidemiologic principles to the translation of research questions in Pediatrics. She collaborates closely with the Baltimore City Health Department and is the lead on an initiative funded by the CDC to decrease HIV transmission in Baltimore City through the identification of high HIV transmission areas.  Dr. Jennings is also leading a large-scale evaluation of evidence-based programs designed to reduce teen pregnancy and negative reproductive outcomes in the State of New Jersey.  Dr. Jennings teaches a courses and mentors students and fellows at the schools of public health and medicine.

Sara Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H.            

Dr. Johnson’s research is broadly focused on how early life environments may lead to biologic and cognitive changes that affect health in adolescence and young adulthood.  She is particularly interested in how the social environment may affect neurodevelopment. Trained in public health, Dr. Johnson is a former Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco and UC Berkeley. Her current work examines the links between the social environment, the development of the stress response system, and emotional reactivity and self-regulation in adolescence. Her other research interests include the role of adolescent neurodevelopment in risk of injury and violence, and adolescent injury prevention policy.  She received her masters and doctoral degrees in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Tracy King, M.D.                               

Dr. King’s research focuses on enhancing the role of pediatric primary care in improving early developmental and school readiness outcomes for disadvantaged urban children.  Her current projects aim to improve identification and referral of young children with developmental delays through implementation of high quality developmental screening and the establishment of closer relationships between primary care providers and community-based early childhood programs.  Her other projects have included characterizing implementation of the Reach Out and Read Program and overseeing establishment of an accountability infra-structure for school readiness efforts across Baltimore City.  Dr. King is currently supported by a Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Scholars Award, part of the NIH K12 Roadmap Initiative for career development in multidisciplinary clinical research.

Harold Lehmann, M.D., Ph.D.            

Dr. Lehmann’s research concerns evidence-based medicine (EBM), ranging from creating reports to researching novel methods of delivering research results to opinion leaders and practitioners. He completed an in-depth systematic review of the world’s literature concerning acne therapy (funded by AHRQ) as part of the Welch Center’s Evidence-Based Practice Center. He is now consulting with the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Dermatology in jointly creating a practice guideline based on that report. He is also conducting a literature synthesis on the problem of recurrent abdominal pain in children in association with the American Academy of Pediatrics; and he is researching novel methods (“Bayesian Communication”) of using statistics to answer clinical questions.

Arik Marcell, M.D., M.P.H.                   

Dr. Marcell’s research focuses on adolescent male reproductive health and access to care. He currently receives extramural funding directly or indirectly from the NIH and DHHS Office of Family Planning to support these activities. He is currently examining adolescent males’ reproductive needs and barriers to care. He is also co-investigator on a Baltimore City-based collaborative study examining methods to engage young adult males in reproductive health and health care services. He has extensive experience training health professionals on topics such as STDs, adolescent health, and male reproductive health.

Margaret Moon, M.D.                   

Dr. Moon’s research interests include empirical evaluation of ethics in everyday pediatric practice, teaching and evaluating housestaff education in ethics, and the ethics of community based research, Dr. Moon is a core faculty member of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics where she is supported as the Freeman Scholar in Clinical Ethics.  She serves as an ethics member of the Hopkins IRB.  She is also an editor of the newly developed Harriet Lane Continuity Clinic Internet Curriculum. 

Peter Rowe, MD                               

Dr. Rowe directs the Chronic Fatigue Clinic at the Children’s Center. His work first identified the relationship between chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and treatable orthostatic intolerance syndromes, and first reported the association between Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and CFS. He has been interested in the association between orthostatic intolerance and upper gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue in cancer survivors, fatiguing illnesses in Gulf War veterans, and fatigue in athletes.

Janet Serwint, M.D.                       

Dr. Serwint's research interests include healthcare issues of underserved populations, resident education, and end of life issues.  Healthcare issue interests in which she has been involved are the study of access to care, continuity of care, oral health, injury prevention, immunizations, screening such as anemia, tuberculosis, lead toxicity and breastfeeding services.  Resident education issues include giving effective feedback, studying the impact of the continuity experience and quality of care that patients receive within the continuity setting, and implementation and evaluation of structured clinical observations. End of life issues include resident education about sharing bad news, spirituality, negotiation with parents, health care provider self-care and defining the importance of hope. Dr. Serwint is the Network Director of CORNET, the Continuity Research Network of the Ambulatory Pediatric Association.  This is a practice based research network of national continuity practices whose research goals are the study of: 1) healthcare issues of underserved children, 2) healthcare disparities 3a) comparison of resident behavior to those of pediatricians in practice, 3b) resident education, and 3c) involving residents in research.

George Siberry, M.D.                         

Dr. Siberry’s research is in HIV and MRSA (Methicillin-resistant S. aureus) clinical and epidemiologic studies.  Together with Dr. Nancy Hutton and others, he has systematically developed an observational cohort study of the pediatric and adolescent HIV clinic patients at Johns Hopkins  In addition, he is the site PI for IMPAACT studies at the Hopkins site, the site pediatric PI for the HIV Research Network and the site PI for LEGACY, the CDC-sponsored multcenter pediatric HIV observational cohort study.  Dr. Siberry leads studies of meningococcal vaccine, new antiretroviral agents, and HIV-related bone complications in HIV-infected children and youth through the new IMPAACT network.   Dr. Siberry provides training and expertise to pediatric HIV providers internationally (Haiti, Ethiopia) and is a member of the DHHS committees that develop guidelines for treatment of pediatric HIV infection and for prevention/treatment of opportunistic illnesses in pediatric HIV infection. In addition, Dr. Siberry has characterized the epidemiology of the rise of community MRSA infections in children at Johns Hopkins and, together with Dr Aaron Chen, is leading a randomized antibiotic treatment trial of suspected MRSA infections in children. 


Erica Sibinga, M.D.                   

Dr. Sibinga’s research interest is the use of Complementary/Alternative Medicine (CAM) for pediatric patients.  Dr. Sibinga’s current research is focused on the adaptation and evaluation of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for urban youth.  Using quantitative and qualitative methods, pilot data of MBSR for HIV-infected and at-risk urban youth show significant beneficial outcomes in psychological and quality of life domains.  MBSR participation is associated with reduced hostility and emotional discomfort, as well as reports of reduced anger and aggression and improved relationships.  Currently, Dr. Sibinga is conducting a randomized controlled trial to further evaluate MBSR’s effect.   These studies have been supported by funds  from the Thomas Wilson Sanitarium for the Children of Baltimore City and the Hawn Foundation. 

Barry Solomon, M.D., M.P.H.       

Dr. Solomon’s clinical and research interests include youth violence prevention, community pediatrics training, the delivery of mental health services in primary care settings and medical education.  For the last several years he has collaborated with faculty in the Center for Injury Research and Policy evaluating the impact of various clinic-based safety initiatives on the home safety practices of urban families. Dr. Solomon was actively involved with the implementation and evaluation of a school-based, group-mentoring intervention designed to foster academic engagement and prevent aggressive behavior among sixth grade children in Baltimore City.  He works with faculty in the Bloomberg School of Public Health on the Dyson Initiative National Evaluation. The goal of this project is to assess the impact of a national training initiative on incorporating community-based activities into pediatric residency programs and to assess the influence these activities have on the careers of individual residents.  His current interests relate to the provision of children’s mental health services in primary care settings and pediatric residency training in this area.  With faculty in the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Dr. Solomon has established a model of on-site services in the Harriet Lane Clinic which includes mental health consultation services for children and adolescents, as well as a new screening and referral service for mothers with postpartum depression.  He also works very closely with medical students as a Core Faculty member in the Colleges Advisory Program in the School of Medicine.

Maria Trent, M.D., M.P.H.                    

Dr. Trent’s research focuses the design of behavioral interventions to assist with fertility preservation in adolescent girls. She currently receives extramural funding through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Generalist Faculty Scholars Program and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support her work. She is currently the principal investigator of several studies including the PID Quality Improvement Project, the Young Women’s Health Study, and a study designed to develop a strategic approach to PID management using decision/economic analytic approaches. She is also co-investigator on a population based study examining the relationship between community factors that lead to the development of impaired fertility beliefs on the associated outcomes among adolescents in high STD prevalent communities and a study evaluating fertility desires of HIV-infected youth.