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Loretta Jemmotte

Contact Information

Loretta Sweet Jemmott


Vice President, Health and Health Equity; Professor, College of Nursing and Health Professions

Graduate Nursing
Nursing PhD

Loretta Sweet Jemmott, PhD, an expert in health promotion research, is one of the nation's foremost investigators in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention, with perhaps the most consistent track record of evidence-based, HIV risk-reduction interventions. She and her husband, John B. Jemmott, III, PhD, have attracted more than $150 million in NIH funding over the past two decades to design and test interventions to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among diverse populations in the U.S., Botswana, South Africa, Jamaica, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Publishing over 100 peer-reviewed articles, books and chapters, her studies not only reported reducing risk-associated sexual behaviors, but also the incidence of STIs.

Jemmott is an outstanding translational and community-engagement researcher. She partnered with community-based organizations, from churches and clinics to barbershops, housing developments and schools, transforming her research outcomes for use in real-world settings. To date, eight of her evidence-based interventions have been designated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Health for national and international dissemination used in 48 states across the nation.

After retiring from a successful 20-year tenure at the University of Pennsylvania, she joined Drexel in 2015 as vice president for Health and Health Equity and professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Here she led the We’re Here Because We Care: Building Healthy Communities Together, using a qualitative, community-engaged approach to determine their health concerns and partnered with them to create health promotion initiatives. This led to the creation Drexel’s Community Wellness HUB. Jemmott also works with faculty to build their program of research, coleads the Implementation Science Research Working Group, the Fall Institute on Implementation Science Research and teaches community engagement, intervention development and implementation science courses.


Academic Distinctions

  • Elected - Institute of Medicine - National Academy of Science.
  • U.S. Delegate to South Africa – National Institute of Health.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, National Association of Black Nursing Faculty, London, England.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, University of Pennsylvania - Women of Color Helen O. Dickens.
  • DHHS Office of Adolescent Health, selected eight of Jemmott’s evidenced-based HIV/STI prevention interventions as model interventions for national translation, adaptation, and dissemination and 35 states across the U.S. were funded to implement one of these curricula in schools, churches, clinics and community agencies.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent & School Health Curriculum Award, selected two Jemmott, Jemmott, & McCaffee HIV Prevention Curricula as model curricula to be disseminated nationally in their Dissemination Project: “Research to Classroom - Programs That Work.”
  • Ambassador for the National Institute for Nursing Research - (FNINR Ambassadors Program)
  • Hampton University - Outstanding Alumnus-at-Large Award

Faculty Fellowships

Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing

Professional Society

American Nursing Association
Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society
National League of Nursing
Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority
National Black Nursing Association
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Selected Publications

Jemmott, L. S., Jemmott, J. B., Icard, L., Hsu, J. (2020). Effects of Church-Based Parent–Child Abstinence-Only Interventions on Adolescents' Sexual Behaviors. Journal of Adolescent Health, 66(1) 107-114

Jemmott, L. S., Jemmott, J. B., Chittamuru, D., & Icard, L. (2019). The Effects of a Sexual HIV Risk Reduction Intervention for African American Mothers and their sons: A randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Adolescent Health, 65(5), 6430-650.

Jemmott, L. S. Jemmott, J. B., Lanier, Y., Baker, J., & Thomson, C. (2017). Development of a Barbershop-Based HIV/STI Risk Reduction Intervention for young Heterosexual African American Men. Health Promotion Practice 18(1), 110-118.

Jemmott, J. B. III, Jemmott, L. S., O’Leary, A., Ngwane, Z., Lewis, D. A., Bellamy, S. L., Icard, L. D., Carty, C., Heeren, G. A., Tyler, J. C., Makiwane, M. B., & Teitelman, A. (2015). HIV/STI risk-reduction intervention efficacy with South African adolescents over 54 months. Health Psychology, 34(6), 610-621. Online first publication: 11 August 2015.

Jemmott, J. B. III, Jemmott, L. S., O’Leary, A., Ngwane, Z., Icard, L. D., Heeren, G. A., Mtose, X., & Carty, C. (2014). Cluster-randomized controlled trial of an HIV/STI risk-reduction intervention for South African men. American Journal of Public Health, 104(3), 467-473.

Grant participation:

Examples of NIH-funded grants as Principal Investigator:

Principal Investigator, “HIV Prevention for African American Young Men in Barbershops” National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, R01, HD061061 (07/01/09-06/30/12) Amount of award $3,410,105

Principal Investigator, “Sister to Sister HIV Risk Reduction Intervention Replication and Dissemination Project” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U65-PS-000242) (05/01/06 – 04/30/08) Total award $400,000.

Principal Investigator, “Reducing HIV Sexual Risk Among Black Substance Abusing Women”. National Institute of Mental Health (RO1 MH61153). (09/01/01 - 8/30/06) Total award $5,100,992.

Principal Investigator. “Church-Based Parent-Child HIV Prevention Project” National Institute of Mental Health (RO1 MH 63070). (07/01/01 – 06/30/06), Total award $5,232,000.

Principal Investigator. “Mother-Son HIV Risk Reduction Interventions”. National Institute of Mental Health, Principal Investigator, (1 RO1 MH-55742). (09/01/95 – 08/30/00). Total award $3,952,229.

Examples of NIH-funded grants as Co- Investigator:

Co-Investigator, “Health Promotion for Positives: A Randomized Trial with HIV Positive Black Men,” National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (03/21/12-12/13/16) R01 MD006232 NIH/NIMHD

Co-Investigator, “Prevention among Heterosexually-Active Black Adolescents with Mental Illnesses: P. I. Bridget Brawner (University of Pennsylvania) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012-2016) HIV/STI FG;(CDC 1U01PS003304), $932,129

Co-Investigator, “Reducing Risk of HIV/STD Infection among African American Men,” P. I. John Jemmott (University of Pennsylvania) National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, R01 MD004075, (12/1/09 – 11/30/14). Total Costs: $1,998,541.

Co-Investigator, “Help Us, Save Us! HIV/STI Risk Reduction for Black Men Who Have Sex with Men”. P. I. John Jemmott (University of Pennsylvania) National Institute of Mental Health, R01 MH079736 (04/01/07-03/31/12)

Co-Investigator, “HIV/STD Risk Reduction for African American Couples”. P. I. John Jemmott (University of Pennsylvania) National Institute of Mental Health, R01 MH64394, (4/1/02 -3/31/09). “Total award $3,496,480

Examples of NIH-funded International Research Grants

Co- Investigator, “South African Adolescent Health Promotion Project,” P. I. John Jemmott (University of Pennsylvania) National Institute of Mental Health, 2 R01 MH065867, September 28, 2007 to August 31, 2010. Total Award: $1,876,620.

Co- Investigator, “South African Men Health Promotion Project,” P. I. John Jemmott (University of Pennsylvania), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, R01 HD053270, September 30, 2006 to June 30, 2011. Total Award: $4,053,637.

Co-Investigator, “Partnership for Capacity-Building for HIV/STD Prevention Research on Batswana Adolescents,” P. I. Bagele Chilisa (University of Botswana), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, R24 HD056693, September 30, 2007 to June 30, 2012. Total Award: $1,876,361.

Co-Principal Investigator, “Development and Testing of a Jamaican Mother-Daughter HIV Risk-Reduction Program,” P. I. Katherine Hutchinson (New York University), National Institute of Nursing Research, R01 NR010478, September 29, 2007 to June 30, 2011. Total Award: $1,956,183

Editorial review board memberships:

Journal of Nursing and AIDS Care

PhD, Major: Human Sexuality Education, 1987
University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education
Philadelphia, PA

MSN, Major: Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Nursing, 1982
University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing
Philadelphia, PA

BSN, Major: Nursing, 1978
Hampton Institute of Nursing
Hampton, VA