Sarah Gehlert, Ph.D., is the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Racial and Ethnic Diversity at the Brown School and in the Department of Surgery of the School of Medicine. She is a scholar in Washington University’s Institute of Public Health and serves on its Faculty Advisory Committee. Dr. Gehlert is the Co-Program Leader of the Prevention and Control Program of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, Co-Director of the Transdisciplinary Center on Energetics and Cancer (TREC), and Training Program Director of the Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities (PECaD). Dr. Gehlert serves on the Executive Committee of the university’s Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (a CTSA) and the Co-Chair of the Center for Community-Engaged Research.
Dr. Gehlert joined the Brown School in 2009 from the University of Chicago where she was the Helen Ross Professor in the School of Social Service Administration (SSA), the Institute for Mind and Biology, and the Department of Comparative Human development. While at the School of Social Service Administration, Dr. Gehlert served as the Deputy Dean for Research. She was the Associate Director of the University of Chicago’s NIH-funded Institute for Translational Medicine (a CTSA) and co-chaired its Community Translation Science Cluster. She was also the Principal Investigator and Director of the university’s NIH-funded Center for Interdisciplinary Health Disparities Research. She directed the university’s Maternal and Child Health training Program from 1992-1998 and was Principal Investigator on an NIMH-funded community-based study of rural and urban women’s health and mental health from 1997-2001. She was Co-Principal Investigator and Core Leader of the Health Disparities and Communities Core of the CDC-funded Chicago Center of Excellence in Health Promotion Economic from 2004-2007.
Dr. Gehlert’s publications focus on social influences on health, especially the health of vulnerable populations. Currently, she is working on the influences of neighborhood and community violence and unsafe housing on psychosocial functioning among African-American women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, with an eye toward how these factors “get under the skin” to affect gene expression and tumorigenesis. She has a special interest in the biology of women’s behavior.
Dr. Gehlert is a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH, which is a federal appointment. She is Co-Chair of the Population Health Advisory Committee of the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research at NIH. She is a chartered member of NIH’s Community-Level Health Promotion Scientific Review Panel and a member of the scientific review panel for Oncology Social Work at the American Cancer Society.
Dr. Gehlert is a Fellow in the American Association of Social Work and Social Welfare. She is Past President of the Society for Social Work and Research and serves on the editorial boards of Health & Social Work, Social Work Research, Social Service Review, Research in Social Work Practice, and Oxford Bibiliographies Online (Social Work).