Faculty Expert Profile

Tanjala Purnell

  • Associate Professor of Epidemiology
  • Founder and Director, The B.O.L.D. (Building Opportunities for Lasting Discoveries) Health Equity Initiative


  • Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Center for Health Services and Outcomes Research
  • School of Medicine

Languages spoken

  • English

Tanjala Purnell is an epidemiologist and health services researcher with over a decade of research experience focused on patient/family, health care system, and community factors influencing health disparities for adults with chronic diseases, particularly kidney disease, hypertension, and diabetes. She is an associate professor of cardiovascular disease and clinical epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She holds a joint faculty appointment in the Johns Hopkins University Departments of Surgery, Health Policy and Management, and Health Behavior and Society.

Purnell has served in multiple leadership roles at Johns Hopkins, where she has facilitated health equity research opportunities for over 150 clinical and public health scholars; organized educational seminars for over 6,000 academic and community members; and developed health equity research methods courses for over 7,000 learners at Johns Hopkins University and other institutions worldwide.

Purnell is a native of the Mississippi Delta and a graduate of Tougaloo College. She has received several national and international research honors and has published papers in leading journals, including JAMA and Health Affairs. Purnell is deeply committed to community engagement, teaching, and mentoring the next generation of health equity champions.

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