Jennifer Balkus, PhD, MPH

is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle. As an infectious disease epidemiologist, her research spans across the fields of sexual and reproductive health. She is passionate about improving genital health for all people with a vagina and has contributed to the 2021 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention STI guidelines for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis. She has expertise in conducting both clinical trials and observational studies, in the US and globally, and currently leads two NIH R01-supported research projects. The first is evaluating the relationship between vaginal bacterial and susceptibility to Chlamydia trachomatis infection among a cohort of cisgender women in Kenya. The second project is assessing opportunities to improve STI testing and treatment to reduce STI recurrence among a cohort of cisgender adolescent girls and young women in South Africa.