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Richard Semba


111 Market Place, Suite 840, Baltimore MD 21202

Affiliated Faculty

Richard Semba, MD, MPH, joined the center as Affiliated Faculty in 2019. He has been with Johns Hopkins University since 1984 and is currently the inaugural W. Richard Green Professor of Ophthalmology in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In his role at The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, Richard provides expertise on dietary protein and micronutrients in vulnerable populations such as preschool children, pregnant women and the elderly.

Prior to joining the Center, he worked on global health for more three decades, including work on river blindness in Liberia, Mexico and Venezuela, vitamin A deficiency in Indonesia, micronutrient malnutrition and HIV/AIDS in Uganda and Malawi, and nutrition and aging in the United States and Italy. Richard runs a research laboratory that uses proteomics, metabolomics, and mass spectrometry to gain insight into major health problems such as child stunting, age-related macular degeneration, and Alzheimer’s disease. He also studies the history of science and the evolution of ideas in nutrition and public health. His books include The Vitamin A Story: Lifting the Shadow of Death (Basel: Karger, 2012). Richard has published over 350 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 35 reviews, and 40 book chapters.

Richard earned his BS at Yale, his MA and MD at Stanford University, and his MPH at Johns Hopkins University. He did an ophthalmology residency at Johns Hopkins.

Selected Publications

Semba RD, Shardell M, Sakr Ashour FA, Moaddel R, Trehan I, Maleta KM, Ordiz MI, Kraemer K, Khadeer MA, Ferrucci L, Manary MJ. Child stunting is associated with low circulating essential amino acids. EBioMedicine. 2016 Apr;6:246-252.

Semba RD, Zhang P, Gonzalez-Freire M, Moaddel R, Trehan I, Maleta KM, Ordiz MI, Ferrucci L, Manary MJ. The association of serum choline with linear growth failure in young children from rural Malawi. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jul;104(1):191-7.

Semba RD, de Pee S, Sun K, Sari M, Akhter N, Bloem MW. Effect of parental formal education on risk of child stunting in Indonesia and Bangladesh: a cross-sectional study. Lancet. 2008 Jan 26;371(9609):322-8.