Jessica G Burke, PhD

Professor and Associate Chair, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Office of the Dean


6116 Public Health , Graduate School of Public Health
R-znvy: wtohexr@cvgg.rqh
Primary Phone: 967-179-8165

Personal Statement

I am committed to an integrated public health program of conducting innovative research, educating the next generation of professionals and serving communities. The primary focus of my work is on the complex realities and context of women’s health, specifically the syndemic interactions of sexual & reproductive health, intimate partner violence, substance use and mental health. Over the past 20 years, I have developed a research agenda that focuses on various pieces of this puzzle among populations in multiple settings and I have successfully illustrated the strength of mixed methods for informing action-oriented research. I intentionally use a partnership approach to my work and enjoy strong collaborations with academic colleagues, graduate students and community partners.

My experience living in Thailand as a child, education and training in cultural anthropology, international health and social and behavioral sciences, and commitment to health equity provide a solid foundation for my approach to public health research, education and practice which is best summarized in the 2014 Methods in Community Health: Integrated and Engaged Approaches book that I developed and co-edited.


1994 New York University, New York, NY, BA Cultural Anthropology
1998 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, MHS International Health
2003 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, PhD Social & Behavioral Sciences


I teach several graduate level courses including Concept Mapping (BCHS 2610) and Systems Theories and Approaches (BCHS 2992). I regularly work with students interested in conducting community health and mixed methods research and frequently serve on thesis and dissertation committees.


I direct the Concept Mapping Institute located in the department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences (BHCS). The Institute is a designated concept mapping center of practice by the Concept Systems Centers of Practice (CS COP) Program and provides access to the concept mapping project license at discounted licensing rates, technical support for concept mapping research, and basic and advanced trainings for those interested in using the method.

I serve as Deputy Director of the Center for Social Dynamics and Community Health. The CSHCH applies systems science and mixed methods approaches to better understand the mechanisms underlying community health issues. By studying the complex contexts of health behaviors and the dynamic interactions of individuals with their social and physical environments, researchers at the CSDCH seek to identify and inform multi-level public health intervention opportunities.

I developed and direct the University of Pittsburgh Certificate Program in Community Based Participatory Research and Practice. The certificate in Community-Based Participatory Research and Practice (CBPRP) includes courses in Community Health, Community Based Participatory Research, Community Engaged Research Methods and Community Leadership. It also includes a six-credit internship, matching students with a local community agency.

Selected Publications

1. Introducing and applying innovative quantitative and qualitative research methods that embrace complexity and creativity to explore the systems of interconnected influences affecting health and wellbeing. 

  1. Burke JG, O'Campo P, Peak G, Gielen A, McDonnell K, Trochim W. An introduction to concept mapping as a participatory public health research methodology. Qualitative Health Research. 2005. Dec; 15(10):1392-410.  PMID: 16263919
  2. Yonas MA, Burke JG, Brown ST, Borrebach JD, Garland R, Burke DS, Grefenstette JJ. Dynamic simulation of crime perpetration and reporting to examine community intervention strategies. Health Educ Behav. 2013 Oct;40(1 Suppl):87S-97S. doi:10.1177/1090198113493090. PubMed PMID: 24084404; PubMed Central PMCID:PMC3964320.
  3. Burke JG, Thompson JR, Mabry PL, Mair CF. Introduction to the Theme Issue on Dynamics of Health Behavior: Revisiting Systems Science for Population Health. Health Educ Behav. 2020 Apr;47(2):185-190. doi: 10.1177/1090198119876239. Epub 2020 Feb 24.PMID: 32090654
  4. Baumann S*, Lhaki P, & Burke J. Collaborative Filmmaking: A participatory, visual method. Qualitative Health Research. Qual Health Res. 2020 Jul 31:1049732320941826. doi: 10.1177/1049732320941826. 

2.  Engaging communities and stakeholders in the process of research and its translation.

  1. Burke JG, Jones J, Yonas M, Zur L, Virata M, Costlow M, Morton S, Miller E. (2013) PCOR, CER, CBPR: Alphabet soup or complementary fields of health research? Clinical and Translational Sciences Volume 6, Issue 6, pages 493–496, December. PMID: 24330697
  2. Burke JG, Hess S, Hoffmann K, Guizzetti L, Loy E, Gielen A, Bailey M, Walnoha A, Barbee G, Yonas M. (2013) Translating community-based participatory research principles into practice. Prog Community Health Partnersh. Summer;7(2):115-22. PMID: 23793242 PMCID:PMC4138529
  3. Burke JG, Lich KH, Neal JW, Meissner HI, Yonas M, Mabry PL. Enhancing Dissemination and Implementation Research Using Systems Science Methods.Int J Behav Med. 2014 May 23. PMID: 24852184
  4. Kim MM, Cheney A, Black A, Thorpe RJ Jr, Cene CW, Dave GJ, Schaal J, Vassar S, Ruktanonchai C, Frerichs L, Young T, Jones J, Burke J, Varma D, Striley C, Cottler L, Brown A, Sullivan G, Corbie-Smith G. Trust in Community-Engaged Research Partnerships: A Methodological Overview of Designing a Multisite Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Initiative. Eval Health Prof. 2020 Sep;43(3):180-192. doi: 10.1177/0163278718819719. Epub 2019 Jan 6.PMID: 30612444

3. Developing and evaluating tailored interventions to address contextual influences.  

  1. Burke JG, Gielen AC, McDonnell KA, O’Campo P, Maman S. The process of ending abusive relationships: A qualitative exploration of the Transtheoretical Model. Violence Against Women. 2001. 7(10): 1144-1163.
  2. Burke JG, Denison J, Gielen AC, McDonnell K, O'Campo P. Ending intimate partner violence: An application of the Transtheoretical Model. American Journal of Health Behavior 2004. 28(2): 122-133.
  3. Burke JG, Mahoney P, Gielen AC, McDonnell KA, O’Campo P. Intimate partner violence survivors: Moving towards defining appropriate stages of change Violence & Victims 2009 24(1):36-51.
  4. Burke JG, O’Malley TL, Folb BL, Hagen CA, Rabinovich BA. Conceptual Factors that Support Safety Behaviors among Abuse Survivors: A Literature Review Partner Abuse. 2019. Vol 10 Issue 4, DOI: 10.1891/1946-6560.10.4.452

4. Exploring and documenting the intersecting epidemics of substance use, HIV/AIDS, intimate partner violence and mental health.  

  1. Burke JG, Thieman LK, Gielen AC, O'Campo P, McDonnell KA. Intimate partner violence, substance use, and HIV among low-income women: taking a closer look. Violence Against Women. 2005 Sep;11(9):1140-61. PubMed PMID: 16049104.
  2. Ramachandran S*, Yonas MA, Silvestre AJ, Burke JG. Intimate partner violence among HIV-positive persons in an urban clinic. AIDS Care. 2010 Dec;22(12):1536-43. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2010.482199.PMID: 20924830
  3. Illangasekare SL*, Burke JG, Chander G, Gielen AC Depression and social support among women living with the substance abuse, violence, and HIV/AIDS syndemic: a qualitative exploration. Womens Health Issues. 2014 Sep-Oct;24(5):551-7. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2014.05.004. PMID:25213747
  4. Sumetsky N, Burke JG, Mair C. Opioid-related diagnoses and HIV, HCV and mental disorders: using Pennsylvania hospitalization data to assess community-level relationships over space and time. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2019;73(10):935‐940. doi:10.1136/jech-2019-212551

Jessica G Burke