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Jonathan Mark Zenilman, M.D.

Photo of Dr. Jonathan Mark Zenilman, M.D.
  • Chief, Division of Infection Diseases, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
  • Professor of Medicine

Languages: English, Hebrew, Spanish


Herpes Infections, Infectious Disease, Infectious Diseases, Osteomyelitis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Research Interests

Surgical infections; Epidemiology of surgical and burn wound infections; Antimicrobial resistance; Skin and soft tissue infections; HIV prevention; Hospital epidemiology; Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs); AIDS; Infectious diseases more

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

Appointment Phone: 410-550-9080
1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287 map

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Appointment Phone: 410-550-0501
5200 Eastern Avenue
Mason F. Lord Building, Center Tower, Infectious Diseases, # 381
Baltimore, MD 21224 map
Phone: 410-550-9080


Dr. Jonathan M. Zenilman is a professor of medicine, dermatology and obstetrics and gynecology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He also has as joint appointments in population family and reproductive health, international health and epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Zenilman is known internationally for his work in infectious disease epidemiology. Prior to coming to Johns Hopkins in 1989, he was a medical epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) where he conceived, developed and implemented the National Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Program (GISP). GISP operated continuously since 1987, and has been responsible for identifying multiple types of resistant strains before they became large clinical problems. He also coordinated and wrote the 1989 STD Treatment Guidelines.

In Baltimore, his activities have included directing the Baltimore City Health Department Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) program and developing the Johns Hopkins Center for STI Prevention and Training. He was one of the first to apply GIS technology to public health, and his syphilis-mapping project was highlighted in Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. In addition to being a productive researcher and clinician, he has been active in health policy, has served as a Senior Medical Advisor for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (DHHS) 1995-1997, has testified before Congress and the Maryland legislature on infectious diseases related issues.

He became chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in 2003. Under his leadership, the Bayview division has increased from 1.5 to 9 faculty members, and developed major clinical and research programs in STIs, hospital epidemiology, antibiotic stewardship and skin and soft tissue infections. Bayview has also become a center for Phase 1 through Phase 3 clinical trials for new antimicrobials and wound care products. Dr. Zenilman is well known for his work ascertaining the validity (or non-validity) of self-reported condom use, for further understanding of the interactions between STDs and HIV infection, and policy work on national and international levels.

Dr. Zenilman has nearly 300 publications and is an active teacher, mentoring more than 40 fellows and residents during his career.

He received his B.A. from Cornell University in chemistry and earned his M.D. from State University of New York (SUNY)-Downstate in Brooklyn, NY. He trained at SUNY-Kings County Hospital in internal medicine and did his infectious diseases fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta. He is board-certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases, and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Dr. Zenilman was a member of the IOM Committee on Sexually Transmitted Diseases which published “The hidden epidemic”. more


  • Chief, Division of Infection Diseases, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
  • Director, Division of Infectious Diseases-Johns Hopkins Bayview
  • Professor of Medicine
  • Professor of Dermatology
  • Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Medicine, SUNY Downstate Medical Center (1981)


  • Kings County Hospital Center/SUNY Downstate / Infectious Diseases (1985)
  • Emory University School of Medicine / Infectious Diseases (1988)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Internal Medicine / Infectious Disease (1988)
  • American Board of Internal Medicine / Internal Medicine (1984)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Zenilman’s research group has broad interests in STD research. Current projects include:

  1. Developing biological markers for sexual behavior that can be used in survey research. This builds on his previously published experience that proposed sexually transmitted diseases as potential biomarkers.
  2. Performing studies of risk behaviors in highly vulnerable populations, such as adolescents, drug users, and trafficked women.
  3. Developing molecular diagnostic techniques for detection of resistant determinants for N gonorrhoeae in non-culture based systems.
  4. Using datasets from the Baltimore City Health Department to understand STD trends and behaviors.
  5. Developing a research program in noscomial infections at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. These interests have focused on infections in the burn center and in developing an antimicrobial control program.
  6. Clinical research in the natural history and microbiology of chronic wounds in the outpatient setting.

Selected Publications

Sood, G, Huber, K, Dam, L, Zenilman, J, Riedel, S. "A pilot observational study of hydrogen peroxide and alcohol for disinfection of privacy curtains contaminated by MRSA, VRE and Clostridium difficile." Journal of Infection Prevention.  2014;15(5):189-193

Rosenbaum JE, Zenilman J, Melendez J, Rose E, Wingood G, DiClemente R. "Telling truth from Ys: an evaluation of whether the accuracy of self-reported semen exposure assessed by a semen Y-chromosome biomarker predicts pregnancy in a longitudinal cohort study of pregnancy." Sex Transm Infect. 2014 Sep;90(6):479-84. doi: 10.1136/sextrans-2013-051315. Epub 2014 Mar 13

Snead MC, Melendez JH, Kourtis AP, Chaney DM, Brown TM, Black CM, Mauck CK, Schwartz JL, Zenilman JM, Jamieson DJ, Macaluso M, Doncel GF. "Effect of lubricants and a vaginal spermicide gel on the detection of prostate specific antigen, a biomarker of semen exposure, using a quantitative (Abbott ARCHITECT) assay." Contraception. 2014 Feb;89(2):134-8. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2013.09.016. Epub 2013 Nov 12

Liu SH, Cummings DA, Zenilman JM, Gravitt PE, Brotman RM. "Characterizing the temporal dynamics of human papillomavirus DNA detectability using short-interval sampling." Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Jan;23(1):200-8. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0666. Epub 2013 Oct 15

Malas MB, Qazi U, Lazarus G, Valle MF, Wilson LM, Haberl EB, Bass EB, Zenilman J. "Comparative effectiveness of surgical interventions aimed at treating underlying venous pathology in patients with chronic venous ulcer." Journal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders. 2014; 2(2): 212-225

Activities & Honors


  • Distinguished Career Award, American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association, 2013
  • Co-recipiet, CDC Charles C. Shepard Science Award, CDC, 1999
  • Scholar Award, American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR), 1992 - 1995
  • Unit Citation, U.S. Public Health Service, 1990
  • Commendation Medal, U.S. Public Health Service, 1988


  • American College of Physicians
  • American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • British Association for Sexual Health and HIV
  • Infectious Disease Society of America

Professional Activities

  • President, American STD Association

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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