Ortner Center on Violence & Abuse in Relationships

  • lynn sommers

Marilyn S. Sommers, PhD, RN, FAAN

Lillian S. Brunner Professor of Medical-Surgical Nursing
Director of Center for Global Women's Health


Marilyn (Lynn) S. Sommers is the Lillian S. Brunner Professor of Medical-Surgical Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Sommers had 15 years of experience as a staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, and nurse administrator in the areas of critical care and trauma.


Dr. Sommers is known for her expertise in the physiologic basis of critical illness and injury. She has taught graduate courses in advanced physiology and pathophysiology, and in particular, the cellular changes that occur with injury and shock.


Dr. Sommer has developed innovative strategies to understand patterns of physical injury resulting from sexual assault. In the groundbreaking first phase of her team’s research funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR; R01NR05352; F31NR009727), they found that females with dark skin had a lower genital injury frequency and prevalence following consensual and non-consensual sexual intercourse than females with light skin. With funding from NINR and National Institute of Mental Health (2R01NR05352), she tested novel ways to identify injury through digital image analysis, and determines innovative strategies to measure injury across the continuum of skin color and range of skin mechanics.





Kim T, Draucker CB, Bradway C, Grisso JA, Sommers MS. Somos hermanas del mismo dolor (We are sisters of the same pain): Intimate partner sexual violence narratives among Mexican immigrant women in the U.S. Violence Against Women, in press.


Rhodes KV, Rodgers M, Sommers MS, et al. Brief motivational intervention for intimate partner violence and heavy drinking in the emergency department: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 2015; 314: 466-477.


Volpe EM, Hardie T, Cerulli C, Sommers MS, Morrison-Beedy D. What's age got to do with it? Partner age difference, power, intimate partner violence, and sexual risk in urban adolescents.Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2013; 28(10): 2068-2087.


Fisher BS, Kaplan A, Budescu M, Fargo JD, Tiller DA, Everett JS, Sommers MS. Influence of anogenital injury on women's willingness to engage with the criminal justice process after rape. Violence and Victims, 2013; 28(6): 968-983.


Sommers MS, Brown KM, Buschur C, et al. Injuries from intimate partner and sexual violence: Significance and classification system. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 2012; 19: 250-263. 


Sommers MS, Everett JS, Fargo JD. Injury from rape and consensual sexual intercourse: Role of skin colour and time to exam. Injury Prevention, 2010; 16(S1): A183.








Click here for Dr. Sommers' website.