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The IPRC’s Administrative Core | Leadership Team

Our Administrative Core provides leadership for our Center, including setting long-term strategic goals; monitoring day-to-day activities; developing new research initiatives; and interacting with a variety of community practitioners. This Core is led by Dr. Marshall and Dr. Moracco, who have a combined total of more than 50 years of injury and violence prevention experience.

Leadership

Stephen W. Marshall, PhD headshot

Stephen W. Marshall, PhD

IPRC Director, Professor of Epidemiology

Dr. Marshall is an epidemiologist who has conducted research in the field of injury and violence prevention for the past 30 years. His research interests include: musculoskeletal injuries, opioid overdose, occupational injury, homicide and violence prevention, traumatic brain injury, road and other transportation injury, injuries in the military, and surveillance methods. He is author or co-author on more than 300 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He leads, and is a member of, multiple interdisciplinary research teams in the field of injury and violence prevention. For over a decade, he has led a team of civilian and military researchers as PI of the JUMP-ACL study, a multi-center prospective cohort study of biomechanics, biomarkers, lower extremity injuries, and musculoskeletal conditions funded by National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense. He has a strong commitment to research-practice integration and uses the principles of engaged scholarship to advance the ongoing translation of research findings into policy, programs, and practice. He interacts with a wide range of injury prevention providers and practitioners, from community advocacy groups through to acute care health care providers and injury and violence prevention professionals in state health departments. Dr. Marshall has been a faculty member at the IPRC since 1999 and has served as the IPRC Director since 2011. Prior to becoming the IPRC’s Director, he co-directed a sports injury research center (Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention) from 2008- 2011. In collaboration with Dr. Moracco, he oversees the strategic direction of the IPRC and all aspects of daily operations of the Center. Link to Profile

Beth Moracco, PhD, MPH headshot

Beth Moracco, PhD, MPH

IPRC Associate Director, Associate Professor of Health Behavior

As a researcher and a public health practitioner, Dr. Moracco is skilled in intervention development and evaluation research and an expert in engaging with communities and community-based organizations. Her research focuses on the primary and secondary prevention of gender-based violence in the U.S. and global settings using qualitative and quantitative methods. Dr. Moracco’s has served as co-investigator on studies focused on the effectiveness of conditional cash transfers on pregnant women’s prevention of mother-to-child transmission adherence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Currently, she is the PI for a study funded by the National Institute of Justice evaluating “best practices” for domestic violence protective orders in NC, a study examining firearm surrender and confiscation in domestic violence protective order cases, and a pilot study examining the effectiveness of group-based peer support to decrease social isolation and increase social connectedness among newly-resettled female refugees from the DRC. She is also a co-PI for a CDC-funded study evaluating an ongoing Rape Prevention Education-funded program, Wise Guys: The Next Level, which addresses primary prevention of sexual perpetration by addressing known risk and protective factors. Previously she led assessments and served as co-investigator on a range of studies within North Carolina, and globally. Dr. Moracco previously led evaluations of primary prevention programs for intimate partner violence and legislation restricting access to firearms in dating violence protective order cases. She is a member of the NC Administrative Office of the Court’s Domestic Violence Committee and a research fellow at UNC-G’s Center for New North Carolinians. Dr. Moracco has served as director of the master’s program in Health Behavior since 2012. Link to Profile

Core Faculty

Anna E. Austin, PhD, MPH headshot

Anna E. Austin, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Maternal and Child Health

Dr. Austin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health and a research scientist at the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center. She is trained in epidemiology and maternal and child health with a research focus on risk and protective factors in child health and development and population-level strategies to promote child and family wellbeing. Her research centers on the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect and substance use among pregnant and parenting women. She has experience and interest in applying advanced statistical methods, linking existing survey and administrative data sources and partnering with state and local agencies to advance maternal and child health research and practice. Link to Profile

Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein, PhD headshot

Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein, PhD

Assistant Professor of Social Medicine

Dr. Brinkley-Rubinstein, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Social Medicine at UNC—Chapel Hill, as well as a core faculty member in the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. She received her PhD in Community, Research, and Action at Vanderbilt University and completed a NIDA T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School. Her research focuses on how incarceration can impact health outcomes. She is the PI of a NIMHD R01 cohort study relevant to pre-exposure prophylaxis among people on probation and parole and the MPI of a NIDA Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network Clinical Research Center grant that includes the implementation and evaluation of opioid overdose prevention programs in community supervision settings in Rhode Island, Philadelphia, and Brunswick County North Carolina. Link to Profile

Nabarun Dasgupta, MPH, PhD headshot

Nabarun Dasgupta, MPH, PhD

Senior Scientist, Injury Prevention Research Center Innovation Fellow, Gillings School of Global Public Health

Dr. Nabarun Dasgupta is a scientist who studies drugs and infectious diseases. His passion is telling true stories about health, with numbers. Centered in epidemiology, his multidisciplinary approach draws on field research, large database analytics, laboratory investigations, randomized trials, and community-based interventions. Through his work he aims to amplify community and patient voices in public health.

His scientific interests encompass two themes. Since 2002 he has done pioneering work in pain management, opioid overdose prevention, and addiction treatment. Second, he has deep expertise in infectious disease surveillance, including visual design of dashboards.

Current Research Objectives
1) Understanding the medical and nonmedical use of opioid analgesics and heroin
2) Increasing patient participation in side effect reporting, including COVID vaccines
3) Innovating digital health methods for mobile apps, social media, and the darkweb

As an applied epidemiologist, Nab has expertise in translating research into practice. He has served as an advisor to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and local and state health authorities.

At the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, he works at the Opioid Data Lab (OpioidData.org). Studies at the Opioid Data Lab are organized into three sections: Theory, Practice, and Lived Experience. Dr. Dasgupta is the Innovation Fellow for the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He works with the Research, Innovation and Global Solutions group, helping students and staff solve local and global health problems.

Prior to returning at UNC on faculty, he was the Chief Science Officer of Epidemico, a health informatics startup he co-founded using technology developed at Harvard Medical School. He is proficient in natural language processing and machine learning methods for public health.

Working on health tech teams, Dr. Dasgupta co-created websites and mobile apps that are used by millions each year. Some include StreetRx.com (crowdsourcing black market drug street prices); apps for patient reporting of side effects to health authorities in North America, Europe, and Africa; PrescribeToPrevent.org for clinicians to prevent overdose; and PoisonHelp.org, the emergency web app of the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

Nabarun co-founded the non-profit organization Project Lazarus in Wilkes County (North Carolina), which was hailed by the Obama White House as a model for community-based overdose prevention. Project Lazarus was the first program in the world to provide the antidote naloxone to pain patients and people who use drugs to reverse overdose. Recently, he has been pioneering methods to test street drugs for dangerous fillers in order to prevent injection-related health harm. His work is informed by harm reduction and participatory research principles. Operating with an appreciation for the social determinants of health, he is committed to countering the impacts of racist drug policies.

Dr. Dasgupta is an editor at the American Journal of Public Health where he is responsible for the surveillance methods section. He also serves as an editor at Pain Medicine and is on the editorial board of Drug Safety.

His work has been funded by the US FDA, US CDC, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), the European Union, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and others. He has been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio (NPR), CNN, National Geographic, Forbes, STAT News, ProPublica, Travel + Leisure, and other media.

Nabarun earned degrees from Princeton University (molecular biology of viruses), Yale University (epidemiology of microbial diseases), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (pharmacoepidemiology). Bibliography of scholarly publications. Follow Twitter (@nabarund) for more.

 

Mike Dolan Fliss, PhD, MPS, MSW headshot

Mike Dolan Fliss, PhD, MPS, MSW

Research Scientist, UNC IPRC

Dr. Fliss has worked in public health epidemiology and informatics at the county and state level in North Carolina since 2010. He graduated from Duke University with a double major in computer science and philosophy, then from UNC-CH with a Master’s of Social Work with a concentration in management and community practice, with separate certificates from both Duke and UNC in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. He completed his Master’s of Biomedical Health Informatics (Public Health Informatics concentration) and PhD in Epidemiology at UNC Chapel Hill. His current work is in social, injury, environmental, and spatial epidemiology, and includes opioid overdose, violent deaths, tobacco and alcohol environment control, child maltreatment, industrial animal farms, disparities in policing, and public health informatics.

Yvonne M. Golightly, PhD, MS, PT headshot

Yvonne M. Golightly, PhD, MS, PT

Associate Professor of Epidemiology

Dr. Golightly is a musculoskeletal epidemiologist in the Department of Epidemiology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Dr. Golightly’s research focuses on the long-term effects of musculoskeletal injury and disorders of the lower extremity. She has over 10 years of clinical experience as a physical therapist and extensive experience as an osteoarthritis (OA) researcher. Her interests include the relationship between musculoskeletal injury and OA,  modifiable risk factors for OA, biomechanics and musculoskeletal disorders of the lower extremities, and biochemical markers (biomarkers) associated with injury and OA. Her other research interests include effects of opioid use in older adults and risk factors for falls in older adults. Link to Profile

Juan M. Hincapie-Castillo, PharmD, MS, PhD headshot

Juan M. Hincapie-Castillo, PharmD, MS, PhD

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

Juan M. Hincapie-Castillo, PharmD, MS, PhD is an assistant professor at the Department of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a graduate from the University of Florida College of Pharmacy where he received the degrees of Doctor of Pharmacy (2013), Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (2017), and Ph.D. with a concentration in pharmacoepidemiology (2019). He is the recipient of the 2020 New Investigator Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and the 2020 Emerging Leader Award from the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology (ISPE). His research interests include 1) drug utilization and safety in pain management and psychotropic pharmacotherapy; 2) evaluation of the effects of law on health outcomes and policy surveillance (legal epidemiology); 3) assessment of health services utilization in pain management, substance use disorders, and chronic diseases; and 4) quality improvement and assessment of inpatient pain management and medication use.

Juan is a consultant for the FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee (DSaRM). In 2021, he was appointed as a Research Fellow for the Center for Public Health Law Research (CPHLR) at Temple University. He currently serves in the Science and Policy Advisory Board for the National Pain Advocacy Center (NPAC) and as Associate Editor for the Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety journal. His Twitter is @DrJuanHC

Zachary Y. Kerr, PhD, PHH headshot

Zachary Y. Kerr, PhD, PHH

Assistant Professor of Exercise and Sport Science

Dr. Kerr is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of North Carolina, and serves as Core Faculty with the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes, the Matthew Gfeller Traumatic Brain Injury Center, and the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center. Dr. Kerr’s expertise provides leadership in traumatic brain injury research at IPRC. His research focuses on the evaluation of injury prevention strategies related to concussion and heat stroke, with a focus on injury surveillance and survey research, and the epidemiology and prevention of injury in populations at high risk, including young athletes who are especially vulnerable to sports related traumatic brain injuries.  Link to Profile

Kristen L. Kucera, PhD, ATC headshot

Kristen L. Kucera, PhD, ATC

Assistant Professor of Exercise and Sport Science

Dr. Kucera is Director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research (http://nccsir.unc.edu).  Evaluation and improved surveillance for sports and work-related injuries are two of her key research areas.  An epidemiologist and certified athletic trainer, Kristen’s other research interests include sport and occupational injury epidemiology with an emphasis on musculoskeletal disorders, ergonomics, and return to work.  Her projects have addressed problems in commercial fishermen, carpenters, youth and collegiate soccer athletes, certified athletic trainers, military cadets, and university hospital employees.  She joined UNC’s faculty in 2013 after serving as an assistant professor in the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Duke University Medical Center.  Kristen received her undergraduate degree (BS, 1994) in Athletic Training at Linfield College (McMinnville, OR).  She completed her master’s (MSPH, 2002) and doctoral (PhD, 2006) degrees in the Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Link to Profile

Rebecca J. Macy, PhD, MSW headshot

Rebecca J. Macy, PhD, MSW

L. Richardson Preyer Distinguished Chair for Strengthening Families Associate Dean for Research & Faculty Development, , School of Social Work

Dr. Macy is a researcher and social worker with many years of experience conducting community-engaged studies that focus on intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking. She is committed to preventing violence among vulnerable populations and has used her prior experience as a community-based social worker to inform her research in violence prevention and to improving services for survivors of violence. She has conducted investigations in various community settings in collaboration with survivors, service providers, and policymakers. Dr. Macy is experienced in leading projects and teams that have developed manuals, toolkits, and outcomes to promote community-based and survivor-centered research. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Family Violence.  Link to Profile

Rebecca B. Naumann, PhD, MSPH headshot

Rebecca B. Naumann, PhD, MSPH

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

Dr. Naumann’s work focuses on understanding risk factors and trends of unintentional injuries and evaluating injury prevention interventions, largely in the areas of road traffic injury and opioid overdose. She has experience and interest in applying complex systems science methods to injury prevention. As part of a long-standing partnership between IPRC and the NC Division of Public Health (DPH), she has collaborated on both road safety and opioid overdose-related research, including policy evaluations, with state partners within DPH. Before moving to North Carolina, she worked in CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control in the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention. Link to Profile

Shabbar Ranapurwala, PhD, MPH headshot

Shabbar Ranapurwala, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

Dr. Ranapurwala conducts advanced analytical research in injury and violence prevention. His work utilizes a diverse set of epidemiological study designs including cluster randomized trials, retrospective cohorts, case control and ecologic studies. His substantive areas of research include the prevention of opioid poisoning, violence, and occupational injury. Currently, he uses large existing claims data, electronic health records, public safety, and death records databases to examine opioid use disorders and overdose in North Carolina in the context of state and local interventions. He is a lead and a co-investigator on two opioid overdose prevention grants funded by the CDC and has completed another CDC funded opioid project. Link to Profile

Johna Register-Mihalik, PhD, ATC headshot

Johna Register-Mihalik, PhD, ATC

Assistant Professor of Exercise and Sport Science

Dr. Register-Mihalik’s research interests include the negative consequences, prevention, education and clinical management of sport and recreationally related traumatic brain injury (TBI). Her primary work centers on improved care, education and behavior change concerning TBI among physically active children and adolescents. Dr. Register-Mihalik was the 2018 National Athletic Trainers’ Association Foundation New Investigator Award recipient. Currently, she serves on the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina’s Board of Directors. Prior to joining the faculty in Exercise and Sport Science, she served as the Senior Research Associate in the Emergency Services Institute at WakeMed Health & Hospitals in Raleigh, NC. Link to Profile

Luz McNaughton Reyes, PhD, MPH headshot

Luz McNaughton Reyes, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Health Behavior

Dr. Reyes’ research focuses on the etiology and prevention of violence, substance use and sexual risk behaviors across the life-course, with a particular focus on adolescent populations. The two focal areas of her current program of research are: (1) understanding the developmental pathways that lead to adolescent dating violence and (2) the development and evaluation of interventions to prevent health risk behaviors during the early life-course. Dr. Reyes has also worked extensively throughout the Central America region on health sector research and intervention projects related to reproductive health and rights. Link to Profile

Meghan E. Shanahan, PhD, MPH headshot

Meghan E. Shanahan, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Maternal and Child Health

The focus of Dr. Shanahan’s research is to improve the health and developmental trajectories of children. Her research focuses on adverse events that potentially influence these trajectories and prevent children from realizing their full potential. Child maltreatment is one obvious insult to the health and development of children. Documenting the magnitude, etiology, and impact of child maltreatment has been a major focus of her work. Examining prevention strategies to reduce child abuse and neglect is another main focal point of her research. Link to Profile

Pamela Trangenstein, PhD headshot

Pamela Trangenstein, PhD

Assistant Professor of Health Behavior

Dr. Pamela Trangenstein is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Behavior. Her research focuses on how commercial determinants of health – namely alcohol, cannabis, and firearms – can cause injuries. Within this content area, Dr. Trangenstein has particular expertise in alcohol-related violence and violent crime associated with the built environment. From a methodological perspective, she aims to narrow the gap between science and policy to prevent injuries at the population level. Specifically, she uses translational methods, such as geospatial, cost, cost-effectiveness, and causal inference analyses to encourage evidence-informed policymaking. The Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol awarded Dr. Trangenstein the Ole-Jørgen Skog Award for the best paper by an early career researcher in 2018. Dr. Trangenstein is a Chapel Hill, NC native. Link to profile.

Anna E. Waller, ScD headshot

Anna E. Waller, ScD

Professor of Emergency Medicine

Dr. Waller is the Director for the Carolina Center for Health Informatics (CCHI) and Principle Investigator/Science Director for the North Carolina Disease Event Tracking and Epidemiologic Collection Tool (NC DETECT).  She has worked in public health surveillance for more than 25 years and in injury prevention and control for over 35 years. She collaborates with the IPRC and the NC Injury & Violence Prevention Branch on data driven responses to the opioid overdose epidemic in NC, as well as broader injury and violence surveillance efforts. Dr. Waller also works with the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program on an ongoing effort to link motor vehicle crash data with health outcomes. Dr. Waller works with the NC Division of Public Health on a variety of projects using emergency department visit and EMS response data for public health surveillance, including ongoing collaborations with public health practitioners at the state and local levels to develop surveillance case definitions and reports using NC DETECT data.  Dr. Waller is interested in using data effectively to inform public health response and prevention activities. Link to Profile

Affiliate Faculty

J. Michael Bowling, PhD, MA

Adjunct Associate Professor of Health Behavior

Anthony G. Charles, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Surgery

Carolyn Crump, PhD, MA

Associate Professor of Health Behavior

Vangie Foshee, PhD, MEd

Adjunct Professor of Health Behavior

Kevin M. Guskiewicz, PhD, MS, ATC

Dean of College of Arts and Science, Professor of Exercise and Sport Science

Carolyn T. Halpern, PhD, MA

Chair and Professor of Maternal and Child Health

Michele Jonsson-Funk, PhD, MSPH

Associate Professor of Epidemiology

Paul Lanier, PhD, MSW

Assistant Professor of Social Work

Kristen Hassmiller Lich, PhD, MHA

Associate Professor Health Policy and Management

Laura Linnan, ScD, MSEd

Associate Dean and Professor of Health Behavior

Sandra L. Martin, PhD, MSc

Professor of Maternal and Child Health

Noreen McDonald, PhD, MS, MCP

Chair of City and Regional Planning

Jason P. Mihalik, PhD, MS, ATC

Associate Professor of Exercise and Sport Science

Darin A. Padua, PhD, ATC

Chair and Professor of Exercise and Sport Science

John S. Preisser, PhD, MA

Professor of Biostatistics

David Richardson, PhD, MSPH

Associate Professor of Epidemiology

David L. Rosen, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Adam J. Zolotor, MD, DrPH

Chair of Family Medicine