John Cantrell, MPH headshot

John Cantrell, MPH

Public Health Data Analyst

Mr. Cantrell holds a Master’s of Public Health in Biostatistics from UNC Chapel Hill and has worked at UNC IPRC since 2014. He analyzes data for various public health studies, including multiple studies focused on injury prevention at UNC IPRC as well as a study on pediatric dental disease at UNC’s Dental School.  Previously, Mr. Cantrell worked as a data analyst in the UNC School of Public Health – Health Policy and Management Department, a data manager at UNC School of Medicine, a mechanical engineer and a medical technologist.

Meghan Chua, MPH headshot

Meghan Chua, MPH

Project Manager

Meghan does research translation, evaluation, and project management in content areas such as adverse childhood experiences, firearm-related injury, and harm reduction. She joined IPRC in March 2020 and received her Master of Public Health from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2021. Her Master’s Capstone with the NC State Trauma Advisory Council focused on improving equity in pediatric trauma care and reducing ionizing radiation exposure from CT imaging among pediatric trauma patients. Prior to pursuing her MPH, Meghan was a support coordinator for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Naoko Fulcher, MS headshot

Naoko Fulcher, MS


Ms. Fulcher joined IPRC in 2019. She is a statistical programmer and supports IPRC opioid studies. Previously she worked as an applications analyst in the Institutional Research and Analysis division of UNC General Administration for 10 years, and as a statistical/clinical programmer at the Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center in the UNC Department of Biostatistics and IQVIA for a combined 6 years.

Paula Gildner, MPH headshot

Paula Gildner, MPH

Senior Research Project Manager

Ms. Gildner received her Master’s in Public Health from UNC Chapel Hill and joined the IPRC in 2010. She manages multiple studies on traumatic brain injuries and sports-related concussions in conjunction with faculty and staff from the Matthew Gfeller Center at UNC Chapel Hill.  She has conducted population-based research with the Latino community and managed research on intimate partner violence and older adult falls prevention.

Elyse Keefe, MPH, MSW headshot

Elyse Keefe, MPH, MSW

Road Safety Project Coordinator

Ms. Keefe joined the IPRC team in 2020 as the Road Safety Project Coordinator to support Vision Zero efforts as a part of the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program. Previously, she developed, researched, and implemented sexual health promotion and substance use prevention programs, using a media literacy education approach. Ms. Keefe holds master’s degrees in Public Health and Social Work from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Shay Louis headshot

Shay Louis

Business Services Coordinator

Shay joined UNC IPRC in June 2023 and assists with financial and business related transactions. Shay has over 10 years of experience in operations and hospitality with a focus on managing financial reports, funding sources, and event planning. Shay received her B.A. in Sociology from North Carolina Central University.

Megan Lueck, MA headshot

Megan Lueck, MA

Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Project Manager

Megan joined UNC IPRC as the Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Project Manager in 2021. In this role, Megan works closely with the North Carolina Comprehensive Suicide Prevention team to increase knowledge of effective suicide prevention strategies and skills among injury and violence prevention professionals across North Carolina. Megan has experience working with a variety of populations including service members and veterans, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, injury and violence prevention professionals, and clergy. She is experienced in crisis intervention, planning and delivering training programs, creating and disseminating suicide prevention messaging, and providing technical assistance for individuals and groups engaged in suicide prevention. Megan is currently a Master of Public Health candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Illyana Massey, MSW, LCSWA, CHES headshot

Illyana Massey, MSW, LCSWA, CHES

Community Liaison

Illyana joined UNC IPRC in 2023 as the community liaison for the Opioid Data Lab team. In her role she assists with the operations of the UNC Street Drug Analysis Lab working with local and national partners. Illyana earned her master’s degree from the UNC School of Social work and has a background in public health. She has years of experience working in community health, outreach, health education, and as a licensed mental health clinician in inpatient and outpatient settings.

Libby McClure, PhD headshot

Libby McClure, PhD

Research Collaborator, Trends and Disparities in Fatal Operational Injuries in North Carolina

Libby McClure is a health data analyst with DataWorks NC, a Durham-based nonprofit whose mission is to conduct community-driven research, and a research associate with the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work is focused on the ways in which historical and structural inequalities produce health disparities. She seeks involvement in social and environmental justice-focused research that both critically complicates traditional study of health and illness while also supporting social change.

Vanessa Miller, PhD, MPH headshot

Vanessa Miller, PhD, MPH

Postdoctoral Researcher

Vanessa Miller is an epidemiologist, health researcher and educator. She joined IPRC in 2021 as a postdoctoral researcher working in the area of suicide prevention. Prior to the move to IPRC, she completed a T32 fellowship in Integrative medicine after earning her PhD in Epidemiology from UNC. Additionally, she obtained an MPH from UNC. She has been involved in studies of chronic disease epidemiology (with a specific interest in pain-related conditions) including multisite prospective cohort studies, RCTs and is now learning about health services research using linked administrative datasets.

Colin Miller headshot

Colin Miller

Community Liaison

Colin is the Community Liaison within the Opioid Data Lab Team ( He is responsible for the day-to-day management of the UNC Street Drug Checking program. In his role, he works closely with local and national harm reduction groups, drug user unions, health departments and other agencies that serve people who use drugs [PWUD]. He has extensive experience in harm reduction program management, development, implementation, and evaluation and has experience working in both health departments/Government and community-based organizations.

Caitlin G. Phillips headshot

Caitlin G. Phillips

Project Coordinator

Caitlyn G. Phillips is the project coordinator for The SHARP Network. Caitlyn has been working in the field of harm reduction since 2015. A co-founder of The Steady Collective, she has experience building and managing community-based naloxone programs and syringe service programs. Prior to joining UNC IPRC and the SHARP Network, Caitlyn consulted with community partners and institutions, such as the NC Division of Public Health’s Injury and Violence Prevention Branch, helping coordinate statewide overdose prevention and harm reduction efforts.

Blythe Rhodes headshot

Blythe Rhodes

Research Specialist, Harm Reduction Learning Network Initiative

Ms. Rhodes joined the IPRC team in 2020 as part of the Outreach, Training, and Education (OTE) core. She supports the Peer-to-peer Opioid Overdose Prevention Initiative as a research specialist. She is a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Health Behavior, with experience in coordinating both quantitative and qualitative studies of behavior during recovery from substance use disorders. Her research interests include trajectories of addiction and recovery, health systems and community-level initiatives to support individuals with substance use disorders, and harm reduction strategies.

Carol Shirley, MA headshot

Carol Shirley, MA

Public Health Communications Specialist

Ms. Shirley joined the IPRC team in November 2022. She manages public health communications, media relations, public relations, marketing communication, and organizational communication for the center. She also manages some of the center’s project based public health communications. Ms. Shirley is currently pursuing her Dr.P.H. degree in Leadership, Advocacy, and Equity from Tulane University with a focus in health communication. She has over 15 years’ experience in marketing and communications in higher education and has won Telly and Hermes creative awards for her previous work at UNC Chapel Hill.

Leah Taraskiewicz, MPH headshot

Leah Taraskiewicz, MPH

Associate Director of Partnerships & Capacity Building

Ms. Taraskiewicz joined the Outreach and Training team at the IPRC in 2018. In her role, she leads multiple training and technical assistance projects for injury and violence prevention professionals in North Carolina. Managing multiple contracts with the NC Division of Public Health, Ms. Taraskiewicz directs collaborative, capacity-building programs such as the Injury-Free NC Academy, the North Carolina Violence Prevention Coordinating Team, and the Harm Reduction Learning Network Initiative. Through these and other projects, Ms. Taraskiewicz works to build and maintain strategic partnerships with key injury and violence prevention stakeholders in North Carolina and beyond to ensure high-quality and sustainable training and educational programming. Ms. Taraskiewicz has devoted her career to preventing and responding to gender-based violence, including serving as a prevention educator throughout DC and Metro Detroit. Most recently, before pursuing her Master of Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill, she supported survivors of violence and discrimination at Equality Michigan, a statewide LGBTQ+ political advocacy and anti-violence organization.

Erin Tracy, MS headshot

Erin Tracy, MS

Research Chemist

Erin joined IPRC in 2022 as a research chemist with the Opioid Data Lab. Her work focuses on the analysis of street drug samples to provide real-time data to community members about the local drug supply. She has a master’s degree in Forensic Science from Virginia Commonwealth University and a decade of previous experience as a drug analyst in crime laboratories.

Belinda-Rose Young, PhD, MSPH, CPH headshot

Belinda-Rose Young, PhD, MSPH, CPH

Associate Director of Research & Translation & Principal Investigator

As an associate director, Ms. Young provides administrative leadership and strategic direction for the Outreach, Training, and Education Core. In addition to this role, Ms. Young oversees several statewide systems initiatives to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences. She also leads the development of engaged research on systems thinking, program and policy evaluation, collaboration development and sustainability, and human trafficking and prevention. A portion of her global research was recently featured in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s 2022 Global Trafficking in Persons Report.

Separately, Ms. Young is overseeing the translation of the Shared Risk and Protective Factor Injury-Free NC Academy model. In this role, Ms. Young is developing manuals, technical assistance protocols and strategies, and adaptation guidance for injury and violence prevention programs across the nation that have expressed an interest in adapting the model.

Ms. Young serves as board vice president for Safe States Alliance. She has served in various national leadership positions, such as trustee for the Society for Public Health Education and chair of an American Public Health Association workgroup. She also co-directed a global, digital media campaign entitled I am Wo(man) with the United Nations Women. Previously, Ms. Young oversaw the National Peer Learning Team for Systems Thinking and the regional Southeastern and Southwestern Injury Prevention Network.

UNC Contract and Grant Administrators that Support the IPRC

LaMonda Sykes Thompson, BA, Research Administration Manager / Team Lead
Thomspon, a graduate of University of North Carolina at Greensboro, joined the Office of Vice Chancellor of Research in April 2019. She supports IPRC with pre-award grant preparation, budget development, and financial management of awarded sponsored and non-sponsored projects. Thompson served as a Grants Administrator for Duke University and Duke School of Medicine for over 4 years prior to coming to UNC-CH. Email