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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 Stephen W. Marshall, PhD, and Beth Moracco, PhD, MPH, who have a combined total of more than 50 years of injury and violence prevention experience.

Leadership

Beth Moracco, PhD, MPH headshot

Beth Moracco, PhD, MPH

Interim Director, UNC Injury Prevention Research Center
Faculty Chair, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Associate Professor of Health Behavior, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

As a researcher and a public health practitioner, Beth Moracco, Phd, MPH, 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.

Moracco 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.

Moracco 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. She previously led assessments and served as co-investigator on a range of studies within North Carolina, and globally. She also led evaluations of primary prevention programs for intimate partner violence and legislation restricting access to firearms in dating violence protective order cases. Moracco has served as director of the master’s program in Health Behavior a the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health 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, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Anna Austin, PhD, MPH, is an assistant professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health and core faculty at the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center. She is trained in epidemiology and maternal and child health with a research focus on injury and violence prevention.

Her current research centers on the primary prevention of adverse childhood experiences, specifically child abuse and neglect; promoting access to substance use disorder treatment, including among pregnant and parenting people and the Medicaid population; and population-level strategies, including those that address social determinants of health, to prevent injuries and violence and promote overall health and wellbeing.

The translational impact of her research is informed by longstanding partnerships with multiple national, state, and local agencies, including the North Carolina Divisions of Public Health and Health Benefits and the Wake County Division of Child Welfare. She is currently the PI of a CDC-funded R01 to examine the association of state adoption of policies that expand Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility with rates of multiple forms of violence, mental health, and substance use outcomes and is a North Carolina site-PI for the Medicaid Outcomes Distributed Research Network (MODRN). Link to Profile

Nabarun Dasgupta, PhD, MPH headshot

Nabarun Dasgupta, PhD, MPH

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

Nabarun Dasgupta, PhD, MPH, is a scientist who studies drugs and infectious diseases. His passion is telling true stories about health with numbers. Centered in pharmaco-epidemiology, his work amplifies community and patient voices in public health. 

Since 2002 he has done pioneering work in pain management, opioid overdose prevention, and addiction treatment. He also has deep expertise in health informatics and machine learning. In 2023 he was honored by being placed on the TIME100 Next list of rising global leaders. 

As an applied epidemiologist, Dasgupta has served as an advisor to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and World Health Organization (WHO). Operating with an appreciation for the social determinants and of health, he is committed to countering the impacts of racist drug policies. 

At UNC IPRC, he works at the Opioid Data Lab (OpioidData.org). His street drug analysis lab tests community-donated samples from around the country to figure out what lurks in the drug supply. 

Dasgupta co-founded two pioneering non-profit organizations. Project Lazarus in Wilkes County (North Carolina) was hailed by the Obama White House as a model for community-based overdose prevention. Remedy Alliance For The People is a groundbreaking national non-profit bulk distributor of free and low-cost naloxone to harm reduction programs. 

Previously he was the Chief Science Officer of Epidemico, a health informatics startup he co-founded using technology developed at Harvard Medical School. He is also an associate editor at the American Journal of Public Health.  

Dasgupta earned degrees from Princeton University (molecular biology), Yale University (epidemiology of microbial diseases), and the University of North Carolina (pharmacoepidemiology). Follow him on Twitter (@nabarund). Link to Profile

Stephanie DeLong, PhD, MPH headshot

Stephanie DeLong, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Stephanie M. DeLong, PhD, MPH, is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at UNC Gillings School of Global Health. She received her PhD in Epidemiology with a Minor in Health Behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. DeLong’s injury-related research focuses on gender-based violence, specifically intimate partner violence in eastern and southern Africa, in particular as it pertains to HIV prevention. Her non-injury-related research focuses on infectious diseases which can become chronic (HIV, COVID-19/Long COVID) and mental health.

DeLong serves as the faculty lead for the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center IVP Fellows program and for all UNC IPRC-Affiliated Student Groups (UNC Gender-Based Violence Research Group, Opioid Student Research Group, and Child Maltreatment Prevention Research and Practice Network) by providing mentoring and support.

Prior to pursuing her PhD at UNC Chapel Hill, DeLong worked for 10 years at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Link to Profile

Mike Dolan Fliss, PhD, MPS, MSW headshot

Mike Dolan Fliss, PhD, MPS, MSW

Research Scientist, UNC Injury Prevention Research Center

Mike Fliss, PhD, MPS, MSW, 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, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Yvonne Golightly, PhD, MS, PT,  is a musculoskeletal epidemiologist in the Department of Epidemiology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. 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

Katherine (Katie) J. Harmon, PhD, MPH headshot

Katherine (Katie) J. Harmon, PhD, MPH

Research Associate, UNC Highway Safety Research Center

Katherine (Katie) Harmon, PhD, MPH, is a research associate at the UNC Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC). As an epidemiologist, Harmon specializes in integrating healthcare data with other data sources to better describe health outcomes following injuries, with a focus on traffic injuries. Within the field of traffic injury epidemiology, Harmon specializes in research involving vulnerable road users, such as children, older adults, and pedestrians, among other special populations.

In addition to traffic safety, Harmon is interested in violence prevention and improving injury surveillance data quality and capacity at the state and federal level. Harmon holds a PhD in Epidemiology from UNC Chapel Hill, an MPH with a joint concentration in Epidemiology and Environmental and Occupational Health from Saint Louis University, and a BS in Environmental Health Science from the University of Georgia. Harmon is a former CDC/Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Applied Epidemiology Fellow at the North Carolina Division of Public Health.

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 Yukio Kerr, PhD, MPH headshot

Zachary Yukio Kerr, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor of Exercise and Sport Science

Zachary Yukio Kerr, PhD, MPH, is an associate professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of North Carolina, and serves as Core Faculty with the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center. 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 exertional 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.

Kerr previously served as the director of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance Program. Kerr’s work has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Health, National Football League, National Athletic Trainers’ Association Research and Education Foundation, and National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment.

Kerr’s collaborations with numerous injury prevention, athletic training, and sports medicine experts have resulted in the publication of over 240 research articles. In 2018, Kerr was the recipient of the New Investigator Award, awarded by the American College of Sports Medicine. Kerr is highly interested in work related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI), and currently serves on the College of Arts and Sciences DEI Strategic Plan Committee, the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Faculty Diversity Advisory Committee, and the Classrooms Modernization Advisory Group (CMAG). Kerr is also a Carolina Covenant mentor. Link to Profile

Kristen L. Kucera, PhD, ATC headshot

Kristen L. Kucera, PhD, ATC

Associate Professor of Exercise and Sport Science

Kristen L. Kucera, PhD, ATC, 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, Kucera’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.  Kucera 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, School of Social Work

Rebecca J. Macy, PhD, MSW, 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. 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

Stephen W. Marshall, PhD headshot

Stephen W. Marshall, PhD

Professor of Epidemiology, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Stephen Marshall, PhD, 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.

Marshall has been a faculty member at UNC IPRC since 1999 and served as Center director from 2011 to 2024. Prior to becoming 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 Beth Moracco, PhD, MPH, he oversees the strategic direction of UNC IPRC and all aspects of daily operations of the center. Link to Profile

Brian W. Pence, PhD headshot

Brian W. Pence, PhD

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health Department of Epidemiology

Brian W. Pence, PhD, is a behavioral, psychiatric, and infectious diseases epidemiologist. His research spans three inter-related areas: global mental health, including scaling up mental health treatment interventions for vulnerable populations; the intersection of mental illness with other health crises included the HIV and opioid epidemics; and suicide prevention research.

His work integrates intervention research, implementation science, advanced epidemiologic methods for observational data, and research leveraging large administrative data sources. Examples of current or recently funded projects include SHARP (the Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Partnership for Mental Health Capacity-Building, an NIMH U19 implementation science project focused on integrating depression treatment into general medical care in Malawi); TRACE (Tailored Response to Address Psychiatric Comorbidity and HIV Care Engagement, an NIMH R34 project to pilot-test a mental health intervention for people living with HIV in the southern US); INSPIRE (Innovations in Suicide Prevention Research, an NIMH R01 to establish a suicide surveillance system in North Carolina and use it to identify intervention points for suicide prevention); and a NIDA R21 (acronym needed!) to examine the relationship of different long-term opioid prescribing patterns with opioid-related (overdose) and infectious disease (HIV, HCV, syphilis) outcomes.

Pence is also the director of a NIAID T32 pre- and postdoctoral training program in infectious diseases epidemiology and associate director for research of an NIMH D43 training program in mental health research for Malawian scientists. He is Professor of Epidemiology, Associate Director of the Division of Global Mental Health in the department of Psychiatry, Member of the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, and Core Faculty of the Injury Prevention Research Center at UNC.

Shabbar Ranapurwala, PhD, MPH headshot

Shabbar Ranapurwala, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Shabbar Ranapurwala, PhD, MPH, 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

Associate Professor of Exercise and Sport Science

Johna Register-Mihalik, PhD, ATC’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. 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

Associate Professor of Health Behavior, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Luz McNaughton Reyes, PhD, MPH’s 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. 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

Associate Professor of Maternal and Child Health, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Meghan E. Shanahan, PhD, MPH’s research focus 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

Anna E. Waller, ScD headshot

Anna E. Waller, ScD

Professor of Emergency Medicine

Anna E. Waller, ScD, 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. Waller also works with the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program on an ongoing effort to link motor vehicle crash data with health outcomes. 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. 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

Professor, Public Health Leadership Progam, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Oliver R. Rowe Distinguished Professor of Surgery, UNC School of Medicine

Carolyn Crump, PhD, MA

Associate Professor of Health Behavior

Vangie Foshee, PhD, MEd

Adjunct Professor of Health Behavior

Kevin M. Guskiewicz, PhD, MS, ATC

Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Exercise and Sport Science, Co-director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center

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