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Susan Henrietta Eshleman, M.D., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Susan Henrietta Eshleman, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) Network Laboratory

Professor of Pathology


Expertise: Pathology

Research Interests: HIV disease progression; Role of HIV genetic diversity in transmission; HIV diversity; HIV mother-to-child transmission; HIV prevention; HIV drug resistance; Virology more

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)
Appointment Phone: 410-955-2660

1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287 map

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Appointment Phone: 410-955-2660

4940 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21224 map


Dr. Susan Eshleman is a professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. An internationally recognized HIV antiviral resistance expert, she was part of a team that discovered that HIV treatment with antiretroviral drugs can prevent transmission of the virus; the finding was named "Breakthrough of the Year" for 2011 by the journal Science. Dr. Eshleman serves as the director of the HPTN Network Laboratory.

Dr. Eshleman earned her Ph.D. and M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her residency in clinical pathology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and performed a fellowship in transfusion medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Eshleman's research is focused on HIV diversity and its impact on HIV infection and disease progression. Other areas of interest include the evaluation of interventions for HIV prevention, mother-to-child transmission, and the development of novel laboratory methods for HIV analysis. Most of her team’s studies are performed in the context of national and international clinical trials of HIV treatment and prevention.

Her work has been recognized with several awards, including the Faculty Teaching Award from the Department of Pathology in 2000. more


  • Director, HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) Network Laboratory
  • Professor of Pathology

Departments / Divisions



  • MD, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (1987)


  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania / Clinical Pathology (1992)


  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania / Transfusion Medicine (1993)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Pathology / Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine (1999)
  • American Board of Pathology / Clinical Pathology (1991)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Eshleman's HIV research program includes basic, translational and clinical research. Her basic research program is focused on further defining the genetic diversity of HIV strains and the impact of this diversity on HIV transmission, pathogenesis and response to treatment. Her translational research program is focused on development and validation of assays for HIV analysis, with particular emphasis on assays for HIV drug resistance and analysis of non-subtype B strains. She also coordinates a technology transfer initiative, transferring HIV genotyping technology to international laboratories. Her clinical research program involves participation as a virologist and clinical pathologist in clinical trials for HIV prevention and treatment.

She is the principal investigator and director of the HIV Prevention Trials Network Laboratory, and also participates in clinical trials in the IMPAACT network.


The HIV viruses in infected individuals are genetically diverse and evolve at a rapid rate in response to selective pressures. Dr. Eshleman's laboratory studies HIV diversity and its impact on HIV infection and disease progression. Other areas of interest include the evaluation of interventions for HIV prevention, mother-to-child transmission, and the development of novel laboratory methods for HIV analysis.

Selected Publications

  1. Laeyendecker O, Piwowar-Manning E, Fiamma A, Kulich M, Donnell D, Bassuk D, Mullis CE, Chin C, Swanson P, Hackett J Jr, Clarke W, Marzinke M, Szekeres G, Gray G, Richter L, Alexandre MW, Chariyalertsak S, Chingono A, Celentano DD, Morin SF, Sweat M, Coates T, Eshleman SH. "Estimation of HIV incidence in a large, community-based, randomized clinical trial: NIMH project accept (HIV Prevention Trials Network 043)." PLoS One. 2013 Jul 11;8(7):e68349. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068349. Print 2013.
  2. James MM, Laeyendecker O, Sun J, Hoover DR, Mullis CE, Cousins MM, Coates T, Moore RD, Kelen GD, Fowler MG, Kumwenda JJ, Mofenson LM, Kumwenda NI, Taha TE, Eshleman SH. "Antibody maturation and viral diversification in HIV-infected women." PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e57350. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057350. Epub 2013 Feb 27.
  3. Cousins MM, Donnell D, Eshleman SH. "Impact of mutation type and amplicon characteristics on genetic diversity measures generated using a high-resolution melting diversity assay." J Mol Diagn. 2013 Jan;15(1):130-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2012.08.008. Epub 2012 Nov 22.
  4. Eshleman SH, Hudelson SE, Redd AD, Wang L, Debes R, Chen YQ, Martens CA, Ricklefs SM, Selig EJ, Porcella SF, Munshaw S, Ray SC, Piwowar-Manning E, McCauley M, Hosseinipour MC, Kumwenda J, Hakim JG, Chariyalertsak S, de Bruyn G, Grinsztejn B, Kumarasamy N, Makhema J, Mayer KH, Pilotto J, Santos BR, Quinn TC, Cohen MS, Hughes JP. "Analysis of genetic linkage of HIV from couples enrolled in the HIV Prevention Trials Network 052 trial." J Infect Dis. 2011 Dec 15;204(12):1918-26. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jir651. Epub 2011 Oct 11.
  5. Fogel J, Li Q, Taha TE, Hoover DR, Kumwenda NI, Mofenson LM, Kumwenda JJ, Fowler MG, Thigpen MC, Eshleman SH. "Initiation of antiretroviral treatment in women after delivery can induce multiclass drug resistance in breastfeeding HIV-infected infants." Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Apr 15;52(8):1069-76. doi: 10.1093/cid/cir008.

Cousins MM, Konikoff J, Laeyendecker O, Celum C, Buchbinder SP, Seage GR, Kirk GC, Moore RD, Mehta SH, Margolick JB, Brown J, Mayer KH, Koblin BA, Wheeler D, Justman JE, Hodder SA, Quinn TC, Brookmeyer R, and Eshleman SH. HIV diversity as a biomarker for HIV incidence estimation: including a high resolution melting diversity assay in a multi-assay algorithm. J Clin Microbiol. 2014; 52:115-121.

Coates TJ, Kulich M, Zelaya CE, Celantano DD, Chariyalertsak S, Chingono A, Gray G, Mbwambo JKK, Morin FS, Richter L, Sweat M, van Rooven H, McGrath N, Fiamma A, Laeyendecker O, Piwowar-Manning E, Szerekes G, Donnell D, and Eshleman SH. Effect of community-based voluntary counselling and testing on HIV incidence and social and behavioural outcomes (NIMH Project Accept; HPTN 043): a cluster-randomised trial. Lancet Global Health. 2014. 2:e267-e277.

Activities & Honors


  • Poster Award for Outstanding Content and Presentation, 5th International Workshop on HIV Drug Resistance and Treatment Strategies, 2001
  • Faculty Teaching Award, Department of Pathology, The Johns Hopkins University, 2000
  • MetPath Fellowship in Laboratory Medicine, MetPath Inc., 1992 - 1993
  • ACLPS Young Investigator Award for Excellence in Research, 1992
  • Upjohn Achievement Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research, 1987
  • Association of M.I.T. Alumnae Senior Academic Award, 1980

Professional Activities

  • Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Pathobiology
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