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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

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 ( 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 (crowdsourcing black market drug street prices); apps for patient reporting of side effects to health authorities in North America, Europe, and Africa; for clinicians to prevent overdose; and, 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

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

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

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

Michele Jonsson-Funk, PhD, MSPH

Associate Professor of Epidemiology

David L. Rosen, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine