Dr. Sell is a Senior Associate at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. At the Center, she conducts, manages, and leads research projects to develop a greater understanding of potentially large-scale health events. She also serves as an Associate Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Health Security (formerly Biosecurity and Bioterrorism).
Dr. Sell’s work focuses on improving public health policy and practice in order to reduce the health impacts of disasters and terrorism. She works on qualitative and quantitative research analyses, development of strategy and policy recommendations, convening of working groups and conferences, and the publication of scientific articles. Her primary research interests include biosecurity and biodefense, public health preparedness, emerging infectious disease, federal funding and budgeting, and nuclear preparedness policy and practice.
Dr. Sell joined the Center in 2009 as an Analyst and subsequently served as Senior Analyst and Associate. Prior to joining the Center, Dr. Sell maintained a career as a professional athlete. She was a member of the USA national swim team for 8 years, and she served as captain for 6 USA national swim teams. In 2004 she broke the world record in the 100 breaststroke (Short Course Meters), and she earned a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Dr. Sell completed her PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management, where she was a Sommer Scholar. Her dissertation work focused on public policy responses to emerging epidemics and specifically how the media and policy intertwine in the case of Ebola and the health consequences of these policy actions. She received a BA in human biology and an MA in anthropological sciences from Stanford University. In 2005 she was a Rhodes Scholar finalist.