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Assistant Professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(205) 996-7984

Research and Teaching Interests: Health equity, health promotion, social determinants of health, LGBTQ health, HIV prevention and care, community-engaged research

Office Hours: By appointment


  • BSW, Seattle University, Social Work
  • MSW, Washington University in St. Louis, Social Work - Direct Practice Mental Health
  • PhD, Washington University in St. Louis, Social Work

Dr. Gerke’s scholarship centers community-academic partnerships to advance health equity and health promotion for marginalized communities, with a focus on LGBTQ+ people and those living with and/or at risk for HIV. He is also active in the field of implementation science, which seeks to improve health outcomes by understanding and addressing the research-practice gap.

His research is informed by nearly 10 years of social work practice with LGBTQ+ populations, including positions in which he provided mental health and sexual risk counseling, supervised a peer-driven HIV and substance use prevention program for youth, and managed a portfolio of HIV prevention programs for one of the largest AIDS services organizations in the country. Recent research projects include a mixed-methods study of health literacy and health care access for transgender and nonbinary Coloradans using the capabilities framework, and a qualitative examination of the factors associated with PrEP uptake and sustainment among young men who have sex with men and young transgender and nonbinary individuals in Colorado, using group model building.

Dr. Gerke has taught courses on substance use interventions; power, privilege, and oppression; theoretical approaches to health and wellness; program evaluation; and pedagogy in social work education.

Outside of work, Dr. Gerke enjoys leading an active lifestyle. He enjoys hiking and walking his dog Mya, and regularly attends Orangetheory. He is also a coffee aficionado and welcomes suggestions for where to get the best coffee in Birmingham.