Dr. Larissa Jennings Mayo-Wilson

Larissa Jennings Mayo-Wilson, PhD MHS

Associate Professor
Department of Health Behavior
Associate Professor
Department of Maternal and Child Health
Faculty Fellow
Carolina Population Center
Research Fellow
Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research
316 Rosenau Hall CB #7440
135 Dauer Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27599 USA


Larissa Jennings Mayo-Wilson, PhD MHS, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Department of Maternal and Child Health at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is a sexual and reproductive health behavioral scientist with methodological skills in epidemiology, biostatistics, and qualitative science.

Dr. Jennings Mayo-Wilson’s research focuses on improving sexual and reproductive health (SRH), including HIV prevention, in vulnerable adolescents and young adults in the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, she is interested in: (i) design and evaluation of economic-strengthening interventions to reduce inequities in HIV/SRH, including microenterprise, cash transfers, savings, and financial incentives; (ii) analysis of economic and structural causes of disparities in HIV/SRH, and (iii) use of mobile health technologies to improve implementation and evaluation of HIV/SRH interventions. Her research also examines socio-economic influences on maternal health care-seeking and uptake of assisted reproductive technologies. As part of this work, Dr. Jennings Mayo-Wilson is a faculty fellow at the Carolina Population Center, a research fellow at the Cecil. G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, and Adjunct Associate Professor at the UNC School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Honors and Awards

Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award, K01
2020, National Institutes of Health

Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment Award
2018, National Institutes of Health

Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Award
2015, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

PRIDE Scholars Training Award, Comparative Effectiveness Research
2015, National Institutes of Health, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) Scholar
2014, National Institutes of Health

Leopold Schepp Scholar
2007, The Leopold Schepp Foundation, New York

Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society
2005, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Research Activities

Principal Investigator, NIMHD, R01MD016815, Microenterprise and behavioral economics intervention for sexual and biomedical HIV prevention in vulnerable U.S. young adults (EMERGE)

Principal Investigator (Multiple), NIMH, R34MH130207, Strengthening community responses to economic vulnerability and HIV inequities (SeCuRE)

Co-Investigator, NIH, R01MD016755, Creating access to resources and economic support (CARES)

Co-Investigator, NIH, UM2HD111102, Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions (ATN) Scientific Leadership Center – Legal, economic, and affirming peer support for trans youth (LEAP)

Principal Investigator, UNC, 231664, Clinical and community care experiences of women undergoing in vitro fertilization services in the U.S. (CCCE)


• Sexual and Reproductive Health 
• Structural and Microeconomic Interventions 
• Behavioral Economics 
• Minority Health 
• Global Health 
• Mixed Methods 
• mHealth

Service Activities

Associate Editor, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

Advisor, National Working Positive Coalition (NWPC) Research Working Group

Board Member, Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International (NNVAWI)

Voting Member, Data Safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB), The Teen Health Study, CDC

Reviewer, Population and Public Health Approaches to HIV/AIDS Study Section, NIH

Key Publications

HIV care experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic: mixed-methods telephone interviews with clinic-enrolled HIV-infected adults in Uganda. Linnemayr S, Jennings Mayo-Wilson L, Saya U, Wagner Z, MacCarthy S, Walukaga S, Nakubulwa S, Karamagi Y.  (2021). AIDS and Behavior.

Microenterprise intervention to reduce sexual risk behaviors and increase employment and HIV preventive practices in economically-vulnerable African-American young adults (EMERGE): a feasibility randomized clinical trial. Jennings Mayo-Wilson L, Coleman J, Timbo F, Ssewamala, FM, Linnemayr S, Yi GT, Kang B, Johnson MW, Yenokyan G, Dodge B, Glass NE. (2020). AIDS and Behavior.

Combined effects of gender affirmation and economic hardship on vulnerability to HIV: a qualitative analysis among U.S. adult transgender women. Jennings Mayo-Wilson L, Benotsch EG, Grigsby SR, Wagner S, Timbo F, Poteat T, Cathers L, Sawyer AN, Smout SA, Zimmerman RS. (2020). BMC Public Health.

Comparative effectiveness of an economic empowerment program on young adolescent asset building, school attendance, mental health, stigma and food security outcomes in a humanitarian setting: a longitudinal mixed methodology study. Glass NE, Remy MM, Jennings Mayo-Wilson L, Kohli A, Sommer M, Turner R, Perrin N. (2020). BMC Public Health.

Entrepreneurial, economic and social well-being outcomes from an RCT of a youth entrepreneurship education intervention among Native American adolescents. Tingey L, Larzelere F, Goklish N, Rosenstock S, Jennings Mayo-Wilson L, Pablo E, Goklish W, Grass R, Sprengeler F, Parker S, Ingalls A, Craig M, Barlow A.  (2020). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Financial and behavioral economic factors associated with uptake of free HIV testing services among adolescents, guardians, and household members affected by AIDS in rural Uganda: a cross-sectional analysis. Jennings Mayo-Wilson L, Ssewamala F. (2019). Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

Association of household savings and expected future means on delivery with a skilled birth attendant in Ghana and Nigeria: a cross-sectional analysis. Jennings L, Yang F, Otupiri E, Akinlo A, Okunlola M, Hindin M.  (2017). Maternal and Child Health Journal.

Economic context and HIV vulnerability in adolescents and young adults living in urban slums in Kenya: a qualitative analysis based on scarcity theory. Jennings L, Mathai M, Linnemayr S, Trujillo A, Mak'anyengo M, Montgomery BEE, Kerrigan DL. (2017). AIDS and Behavior.


  • PhD, Population, Family, and Reproductive Heatlh, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2009
  • MHS, International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2005
  • BA, Social Anthropology, Harvard University, 2001