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Since HBO's "The Wire" went off the air more than two years ago, it's been a favorite topic of academia, spurring college courses on urban poverty, lectures on substance abuse and the like.

The latest takes place in The Wire's home here in Bmore. Wednesday, the folks at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health will kick off a lecture series that uses the gritty series to explore real public health challenges in the city in which it is based.

Wednesday's talk will feature Sonja Sohn, who played Detective Kima Greggs on the drama. She'll discuss her program ReWired for Change, which uses the show's vivid portrayals of drugs, crime and poverty to help young people confront those very real challenges in their communities.

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Over the course of the series, public health professors will examine the struggles of urban women and families as portrayed in the series, the problem of injection drug use and even thornier topics, including one session in April provocatively titled: "Is there a choice? Violence and Guns on The Street of Baltimore."

Susan Sherman, an epidemiologist with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and self-professed "huge fan of the show" said the seminar is something she and professors David Holtgrave and Danielle German have wanted to do for years.

"Every session talks about the scope of the problem, the complex nature of the problem and what’s public health’s role of fixing it," she said.

Wednesday's seminar will take place from 12:15 p.m to  1:15 pm in the Hampton House Auditorium at the school of public health in Baltimore. Click here for more info and details on the rest of the series.

Baltimore Sun photo of Sohn speaking to youth in the ReWired for Change program

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