Scholarly Products and Dissemination


BRIDGES Publications


Mathews, D., & Jose, S. (Eds.). (2021). Ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) at the intersection of genomics and infectious disease. ELSIhub Collections.

Gerber, J. E., Geller, G., Boyce, A., Maragakis, L. L., & Garibaldi, B. T. (2021). Genomics in patient care and workforce decisions in High-Level Isolation Units: A survey of healthcare workers. Health Security, 19(1), 318-326.

Gerber, J. E., Brewer, J., Limaye, R. J., Sutherland, A., Geller, G., Spina, C. I., & Salmon, D. A. (2021). Ethical and policy implications of vaccinomics in the United States: Community members’ perspectives. Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, 17(7), 2133-2144.


Geller, G., Duggal, P., Thio, C. L., Mathews, D., Kahn, J. P., Maragakis, L. L., & Garibaldi, B. T. (2020). Genomics in the era of COVID-19: Ethical implications for clinical practice and public health. Genome Medicine, 12(1), 1-4.

Walker, A., Boyce, A., Duggal, P., Thio, C. L., & Geller, G. (2020). Genomics and infectious diseases: Expert perspectives on public health considerations regarding actionability and privacy. Ethics & Human Research, 42(3), 30-40.

Walker, A., Boyce, A., Duggal, P., Thio, C. L., & Geller, G. (2020). The ethics of precision rationing: Human genetics and the need for debate on stratifying access to medication. Public Health Genomics, 23(1-2), 1-5.

Bartsch, S. M., Mitgang, E. A., Geller, G., Cox, S. N., O’Shea, K. J., Boyce, A., Siegmund, S. S., Kahn, J., & Lee, B. Y. (2020). What if the influenza vaccine did not offer such variable protection?. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 222(7), 1138-1144.


Boyce, A. M., & Garibaldi, B. T. (2019). Genomics and high-consequence infectious diseases: A scoping review of emerging science and potential ethical issues. Health Security, 17(1), 62-68.

Boyce, A., Walker, A., Duggal, P., Thio, C. L., & Geller, G. (2019). Personal genetic information about HIV: Research participants’ views of ethical, social, and behavioral implications. Public Health Genomics, 22(1-2), 36-45.

Mastroianni, A. C., Kahn, J. P., & Kass, N. E. (Eds.). (2019). The Oxford handbook of public health ethics. Oxford University Press.

Duggal, P., Geller, G., & Sutherland, A. (2019). Genetic epidemiology, infectious disease, and public health ethics. In: Mastroianni, A. C., Kahn, J. P., Kass, N. E., eds. The Oxford Handbook of Public Health Ethics.

Boyce, A. (2019). Genomic contextualism, genetic determinism, and causal models. The American Journal of Bioethics, 19(1), 73-75.


Walker, A., Boyce, A., Geller, G., Thio, C. L., & Kahn, J. P. (2018). Direct-acting antivirals and hepatitis C: The ethics of price and rationing by genotype. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 67(6), 983-984.

Lewis, M. H. (2018). Should genetic testing for variants associated with influenza infection be mandatory for health care employees?. AMA Journal of Ethics, 20(9), E819.


Geller, G., Dvoskin, R., Thio, C. L., Duggal, P., Lewis, M. H., Bailey, T. C., Sutherland, A., Salmon, D. A., & Kahn, J. P. (2014). Genomics and infectious disease: A call to identify the ethical, legal and social implications for public health and clinical practice. Genome Medicine, 6(11), 1-13.

Other Related Publications


Rennie, S., Chege, W., Schrumpf, L. A., Luna, F., Klitzman, R., Moseki, E., … & Sugarman, J. (2021). HIV prevention research and COVID-19: Putting ethics guidance to the test. BMC Medical Ethics, 22(1), 1-10.

O’Doherty, K. C., Shabani, M., Dove, E. S., Bentzen, H. B., Borry, P., Burgess, M. M., Chalmers, D., De Vries, J., Eckstein, L., Fullerton, S. M., Juengst, E., … & Burke, W. (2021). Toward better governance of human genomic data. Nature Genetics, 53(1), 2-8.

Meyer, M. N., Gelinas, L., Bierer, B. E., Hull, S. C., Joffe, S., Magnus, D., Mohapatra, S., Sharp, R. R., Spector-Bagdady, K., Sugarman, J., Wilfond, B. S., & Lynch, H. F. (2021). An ethics framework for consolidating and prioritizing COVID-19 clinical trials. Clinical Trials, 18(2), 226-233.


Juengst, E. T., & Van Rie, A. (2020). Transparency, trust, and community welfare: towards a precision public health ethics framework for the genomics era. Genome Medicine, 12(1), 1-3.

Li, J. Z., Sears, C. L., & Chatterjee, A. (2020). Empowering inclusion and diversity in the field of infectious diseases. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 222(Supplement_6), S521-S522.

Sears, C. L., & Salzberg, S. L. (2020). Microbial diagnostics for cancer: A step forward but not prime time yet. Cancer Cell, 37(5), 625-627.

Tuddenham, S., Koay, W. L., & Sears, C. (2020). HIV, sexual orientation, and gut microbiome interactions. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 65(3), 800-817.

Dawson, L., Benbow, N., Fletcher, F. E., Kassaye, S., Killelea, A., Latham, S. R., Lee, L. M., Leitner, T., Little, S. J., Mehta, S. R., Martinez, O., Minalga, B., Poon, A., Rennie, S., Sugarman, J., … & Wertheim, J. O. (2020). Addressing ethical challenges in US-based HIV phylogenetic research. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 222(12), 1997-2006.


Coltart, C.E.M., Hoppe, A., Parker, M., Dawson, L., Amon, J.J., Simwinga, M., Geller, G., Henderson, G., … & Zimmerman, R. (2018). Ethical considerations in global HIV phylogenetic research. The Lancet HIV, 5(11), e656–e666.

Juengst, E. T., Henderson, G. E., Walker, R. L., Conley, J. M., MacKay, D., Meagher, K. M., … & Cadigan, R. J. (2018). Is enhancement the price of prevention in human gene editing?. The CRISPR Journal, 1(6), 351-354.

Participation in Seminars and Conferences

2021 National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC) Summit
Gail Geller, Brian Garibaldi, and Sheethal Jose led a breakout session in a panel titled, “Should Genetic Testing of Patients and Clinicians Play a Role in the Management and Control of Infectious Disease Outbreaks?” at the 2021 Virtual NETEC Summit in June 2021. This session focused on 3 key aims: (1) describe the advances in host genomics related to the prevention and control of infectious diseases, (2) discuss the findings of the pilot survey that was distributed to HLIU clinical staff prior to COVID-19 to understand their views about the ethical acceptability and value of using host genomic information in infectious disease patient care and workforce decisions, and (3) solicit input on the development of a follow-up survey focused on COVID-19 host genomics.

2021 Centers of Excellence in ELSI Research (CEER) Annual Meeting
The CEER Annual Meeting was held virtually in May 2021. Juli Bollinger presented on “Clinicians’ and Patients’ Perspectives on the Role of Infectious Pathogens on the Causation and Prevention of Colon Cancer.” Sheethal Jose presented on “Should Host Genomics Play a Role in the Management and Control of Infectious Disease Outbreaks?” and it highlighted ongoing empirical work exploring health professionals’ views of the ethical acceptability of incorporating host genomic information in the clinical and public health response to high consequence infections like COVID-19.

2021 NHGRI Research Training and Career Development Annual Meeting
The NHGRI Trainee meeting was held virtually in April 2021. Sheethal Jose presented a poster on “Understanding Health Professionals’ Perspectives on the Ethical Acceptability of Using Host Genomic Information During Infectious Disease Outbreaks.” Brian Hutler presented a poster on “Legal Analysis of Vaccinomics and the Causation of Vaccine-related Injuries.”

Epidemic//Endemic: Medical Humanities & Social Medicine 2020-21
Alexandre White, Graham Mooney, and Jeffrey Kahn have participated in a yearlong seminar series hosted by the Center for Medical Humanities and Social Medicine at Johns Hopkins. The COVID-19 epidemic has starkly illuminated a series of structural forces in health and society that produce endemic disparities. As a result, older questions of inequalities, social relations, and political and economic ideology are now occurring in direct conversation with current issues associated with health and health care systems. This series seeks to use this moment to bring scholars together for a yearlong discussion on the role of the COVID-19 epidemic in raising questions of wider importance to the social sciences and the humanities, and vice versa.

ELSI Friday Forum Seminar: Genomics and Infectious Disease – Scientific and ELSI Issues of COVID
ELSI Friday Forum is a monthly one-hour seminar series featuring topics on the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of genetics and genomics research hosted by the Center for ELSI Resources and Analysis (CERA). Gail Geller and Priya Duggal were the speakers for the February 12, 2021 session, titled Genomics and Infectious Disease: Scientific and ELSI Issues of COVID, moderated by Holly Taylor. The seminar focused on the distinct ways genomics is being used to understand and address the Covid-19 pandemic. They presented on a brief review of key terms and current knowledge about COVID genomics and an ethics framing to focus on novel ELSI issues relevant to the current pandemic. The session prioritized engagement and discussion among the panel members and audience.

2021 American Association for Public Opinion Research Conference
Jennifer Gerber presented her abstract entitled “Experience using the Qualtrics web panel for a cross-sectional survey.” Their survey project focused on respondents’ vaccine attitudes and beliefs, their understanding surrounding the prioritization of vulnerable populations during a vaccine shortage, and trust in public health authorities, all of which are relevant to measuring willingness to accept COVID-19 vaccines and prioritization of limited vaccine and therapeutic supplies.  The pre-recorded presentation aired during a session entitled “Health Care Access and Delivery During the Pandemic,” on May 12, 2021 at 10:30am ET.

2020 Virtual American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) Conference
The 22nd annual meeting of ASBH was held virtually in 2020. Jeffrey Kahn, Ruth Faden, Jeri Lacks, and Patricia King participated in a panel discussion examining social justice and bioethics through the lens of issues and challenges raised by the story of Henrietta Lacks and the HeLa cell line derived from her cells. Rebecca Wilbanks presented on “Covid-19 as hereditary illness? Social and ethical implications of the blurry boundary between infectious and genetic disease.” This paper looks to history to answer these questions, examining three diseases that have moved across different frameworks of causation at different times: tuberculosis, AIDS, and hereditary colorectal cancer. Gail Geller presented on “Should genomics play a role in the clinical management of high consequence infections?” and discussed the findings from a pilot survey of health professionals at high-level isolation units.

Public Deliberation on Gene Editing in the Wild
Rebecca Wilbanks was an invited workshop participant at the NSF-funded workshop organized by The Hastings Center in February 2019.

BRIDGES Inspired Courses

Master of Bioethics Course
Gail Geller designed a graduate course as part of the Master of Bioethics degree program curriculum, “Germs, Genes, Patients, and Populations.” It examines the past, present, and future ELSI issues at the intersection of infectious disease and genomics. In the Spring 2021 course offering, several BRIDGES team members participated in the course. Post-doc Brian Hutler co-taught a few sessions focusing on the legal implications. Debra Mathews, Graham Mooney, Rebecca Wilbanks and Rachel Gur-Arie were guest lecturers. Sheethal Jose was the teaching assistant for the course.

School of Medicine Courses
Gail Geller offered BRIDGES lectures in two Johns Hopkins School of Medicine courses for 3rd and 4th year medical students: (1) Translational Science: Immunology – Ethics of vaccine deployment for COVID-19 and (2) Translational Science: Infectious Disease: The Role of Genomics in the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Disease – Ethical, Legal & Social Implications (ELSI) for Public Health and Clinical Practice.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Berman Institute of Bioethics quickly created and offered a new elective, Ethical and Policy Challenges in the Era of Covid-19: Implications for Clinical Practice, Research and Public Health, that immersed students in independent scholarly research projects studying the pandemic’s impact in real time. Each student in the course was paired with a Berman Institute faculty member whose research interests aligned with the student’s. Formal courses meetings occurred (via Zoom) once a week for two hours from mid-April until late May. The majority of the course was the students’ independent research work on their projects, guided by weekly meetings with their faculty mentors. The interdisciplinary nature of the elective’s mentors demonstrates how COVID has blurred boundaries in a beneficial way – both within the University and between experts in fields like bioethics, medicine, and public health, we’re all working together in new and effective ways.

Johns Hopkins Undergraduate Courses
Rebecca Wilbanks designed and implemented two new undergraduate courses. In the “Vaccines, Science, and Values” course, students explore the factors driving contemporary vaccine controversies and enter into a conversation about the ethics of compulsory vaccination policies. One theme is the tension between personalized medicine and public health. She also teaches the “Science Fiction and the Ethics of Technology” course within the Department of Medicine, Science, and the Humanities.

Related Grant Awards

The Genomics and Society Mentorship Program Trainees
Debra Mathews is the PI of The Genomics and Society Mentorship Program (GSMP) funded through our CEER’s R25. The program has recently finalized its third class of trainees who will be participating in a remote program in the summer of 2021. Last year, four students were accepted into the program (one student deferred her acceptance to 2021). While we were not able to offer the research component of the program, all other features of the program were able to be delivered remotely. In addition, the remote nature of all NIH-funded DAP programs enabled us to create a joint seminar series and enabled the GSMP to bring in speakers for our trainees who we normally would not be able to invite for an in-person program.

Hereditary Colon Cancer & the Microbiome
Emerging from a BRIDGES1 seed grant to Cynthia Sears, we are engaging in an empirical project to explore issues at the intersection of microbiome science, hereditary or sporadic colon cancer, and ethics. The goal is to assess participants’ perspectives about the role of the microbiome in the causation and prevention of colon cancer. We interviewed clinicians involved in the prevention and/or treatment of colon cancer. We also conducted focus groups with patients with hereditary colon cancer syndromes (HNPCC and FAP), patients with early-age onset colon cancer (younger than age 50), and a control group of patients who do not have colon cancer and have undergone a colonoscopy as part of standard of care.

COVIDgene: Host Genetics of SARS_CoV_2 Infections
Priya Duggal and Chloe Thio received a supplement from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in 2020 to study the host genetics that may influence Covid-19 disease pathogenesis and identify those individuals at greatest risk. The study hypothesis is that one or more host genetic polymorphisms predisposed otherwise healthy individual to severe COVID-19 infection. The study plans to enroll 1500 individuals across the disease spectrum and to evaluate their serology for exposure and clinical characteristics and interrogate the human genome. The hospitalized patients will be evaluated for cytokine expression and association with the host genome.

Human Genetic Determinants of HBV Recovery
Priya Duggal and Chloe Thio received a R01 grant from NIAID in 2020 to investigate the host genetic basis for hepatitis B virus (HBV) recovery in persons living with and without HIV. The study will focus on discovering novel genetic variants in a panel of African ancestry individuals by comparing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) from existing GWAS data in persons with HBV recovery (N=8667) and with CHB (N=1594). The inclusion of persons living with HIV (PLWH) allows comparisons of mechanisms of recovery based on HIV. The study will also perform a trans-ethnic GWAS analysis using the same African ancestry panel along with European ancestry individuals from North America and the UK Biobank and with Chinese ancestry individuals.

Risks, Benefits, and Stakeholder Perspective of Molecular Epidemiology (ME) for HIV Prevention
Jeremy Sugarman and Gail Geller received a R01 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in 2020. The overarching goal of this study is to quantify the risks and benefits of ME-informed investigations and ELSI issues related to use of HIV molecular epidemiology in research and public health practice.

Organizational and Cultural Dynamics in Genomics Companies: Industry Engagement in Navigating Social and Ethical Issues
Alexis Walker was granted a K99/R00 award from the National Human Genome Research Institute to support her research on biotech startup companies. The funded project investigates visions of ethics amongst employees of companies that are using genomic technologies to develop diagnostic and therapeutic products. The project is based on interview and ethnographic research, as well as Delphi methods for engaging bioethics experts as well as industry stakeholders.