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Tanjala Purnell, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Headshot of Tanjala Purnell
  • Associate Director, Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute
  • Joint Appointment in Surgery


Chronic Kidney Disease, Epidemiology, Health Services Research, Kidney Transplant more


Dr. Tanjala Purnell is an epidemiologist and health services researcher with over a decade of research experience related to identifying and addressing patient/family, healthcare system, and community factors influencing health and healthcare disparities for adults with cardiovascular disease risk factors, including hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes. She is an Assistant Professor of Cardiovascular Disease and Clinical Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She holds joint faculty appointments in the Johns Hopkins Departments of Surgery, Health Policy and Management, and Health Behavior and Society.

In her role as an Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, Dr. Purnell co-leads the institute’s efforts to facilitate and recognize collaborations between communities, universities, healthcare delivery systems, government, and the private sector to build collective capacity for achieving health equity in Baltimore. She is also the Associate Director for Education and Training at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity, where she leads the center’s award-winning educational and training programs for public health, nursing, and medical scholars working to advance health equity. In addition, she is the Director of community and stakeholder engagement for the Hopkins Epidemiology Research Group in Organ Transplantation, core faculty at the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, and affiliated faculty with the Bloomberg American Health Initiative and the Center for Health Services and Outcomes Research. 

Dr. Purnell has received several national and international research honors and has published findings from her work in leading medical and public health journals, including JAMA, Health Affairs, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, American Journal of Hypertension, American Journal of Transplantation, and Diabetes Care. She is deeply committed to community service, teaching, and mentoring and is the recipient of multiple Teaching Excellence Awards from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. more


  • Associate Director, Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute
  • Associate Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity
  • Joint Appointment in Surgery

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • Ph.D.; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Maryland) (2012)
  • M.P.H.; Ohio State University (Ohio) (2006)
  • B.S.; Tougaloo College (Mississippi) (2005)

Additional Training

  • Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 2014, General Internal Medicine

Research & Publications

Contact for Research Inquiries

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity
2024 East Monument Street
Baltimore, MD 21205 map

Email me

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Courses and Syllabi

  • Applications of Innovative Methods in Health Equity Research (410.635.81)
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Local and Global Best Practices in Health Equity Research Methods (410.606.81)
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Activities & Honors


  • Career Development (K01) Award, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Region 2 Representative, OPTN/UNOS Minority Affairs Committee
  • Rothman Award in Surgical Research, Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • National Research Service Award, National Institutes of Health/NIDDK
  • "Top 40 Under 40" Leadership Award, National Quality Forum
  • Young Investigator Award , The Transplantation Society
  • Seminar Travel Award, American Society of Nephrology Professional Development
  • Fellowship/Travel Award, National Institutes of Health/National Medical Association
  • Travel Award, International Symposium on Minority Health and Health Disparities
  • Volunteer Service Recognition, National Kidney Foundation of Maryland
  • “Ask the Expert” Community Health Outreach Series “Thank You” Award, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Office of Community Health

Videos & Media

Play Video:

Best Practices for Engaging Policymakers to Promote Health Equity

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