Injury Epidemiology Research

injury_research2

Overview

The overall goal of the program in injury epidemiology is to develop epidemiologists who further the science of injury control and are capable of conducting research and translating research findings into action to prevent injuries. Epidemiologists working in the area of injury and violence prevention conduct research describing injury hazards, identifying risk factors for injury and violence, and quantifying the effect of various interventions designed to prevent injury and violence. The scope of injury and violence control is broad, encompassing such diverse areas as: suicide, homicide, youth violence, intimate partner violence, firearm violence, workplace violence, school violence, injury and violence as a global health concern, transportation safety (including occupant and pedestrian safety, roadway design, policies involving alcohol while driving), older adults falls, occupational injury, sports and recreation injuries and chronic and overuse (musculoskeletal) injuries. Students in the Injury Epidemiology Program receive training in how to conduct high-quality epidemiologic research that directly addresses prevention opportunities. Furthermore, they learn how to engage with non-epidemiologists (ranging from policy makers to community advocates) to address interventions that (based on the best available scientific knowledge) will prevent injuries and violence.

Courses Offered

Other Related Courses

  • EPID 730: Advanced Methods for Epidemiology (Faculty)
  • EPID 765: Methods and Issues in Pharmacoepidemiology (Til Stürmer / Alan Brookhart)
  • EPID 766: Epidemiologic Research with Healthcare Databases (Jennifer Lund)
  • EPID 790: Intervention Epidemiology (Faculty)
  • EPID 810: Physical Activity Epidemiology (Dianne Ward / Derek Hales)
  • EPID 992: Master’s Paper (Faculty)
  • EPID 994: Doctoral Dissertation (Faculty)

Seminars

  • Injury student seminar/journal club
  • Public Seminars sponsored by Department of Epidemiology
  • Seminars presented by The Injury Prevention Research Center
  • Seminars presented by The Highway Safety Research Center

Resources at UNC

Injury Prevention Research Center
School of Medicine
Department of Surgery
Center for Retired Athletes
Department of Emergency Medicine
Division of Trauma and Critical Care Surgery
Department of Orthopedics
Thurston Arthritis Research Center
Department of Allied Health Sciences
Department of Exercise and Sport Science

Highway Safety Research Center
Sports Medicine Research Laboratory
Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related TBI Research Center
Department of Health Behavior
Department of City and Regional Planning
Department of Maternal and Child Health
Interdisciplinary Human Movement Science Lab
Human Movement Science
Physical Therapy
School of Pharmacy

Off Campus Resources

NC Medical Examiner
Duke University School of Medicine
NC Injury and violence Prevention

Duke Sports Medicine Center
Sanford School of Public Policy
NC Injury and violence Prevention

Groups Interested in Injury Control

Mothers Against Drunk Driving
SafeKids

KidsNCars
North Carolinians Against Gun Violence

Core Faculty

marshall_steve_2008Dr. Steve Marshall: Sports and recreational Injuries; Injury surveillance; Falls, Violence and transportation; Epidemiologic methods, Evaluation of injury interventions

Yvonne GolightlyDr. Yvonne Golightly: Modifiable risk of osteoarthritis (OA); Biomechanics and musculoskeletal disorders of the lower extremities; and biomarkers associated with injury and OA

Charles PooleDr. Charles Poole: Epidemiologic methods; Meta-analysis; Epidemiologic concepts

David RichardsonDr. David Richardson: Occupational health; Injury prevention; Cancer, Environment

Til StürmerDr. Til Stürmer: Medications and Injury prevention; Epidemiologic methods

Collaborating Faculty

Sue Blalock: Health outcomes assessment; Fall injuries; Risk communication;
Allan Dellapenna: Transportation related injuries; Injury and violence prevention policy; American Indian and Alaska native injury prevention
Robert Foss: Teenage driver behavior; Alcohol use and injury; Injury prevention
Kevin Guskiewicz: Concussion/mild traumatic brain Injuries, Neuro-epidemiology
Kristen Kucera: Work related musculoskeletal disorders and exposure assessment; sports injury epidemiology; Surveillance of sports and occupational injuries
Hester Lipscomb: Occupational Injuries
Lewis Margolis: Leadership development; Strategies to increase safety for new teen drivers
Scott Proescholdbell: Injury surveillance, Violence prevention, Evaluation of interventions.
Daniel Rodriguez: Transportation injuries; Built environment
Vilma Sousa Santana: Occupational injuries
Anna Waller: Use of emergency department visit, Poison control center and EMS run data for public health
surveillance; Data quality control issues for injury surveillance; Public health preparedness

Graduate Student Research Assistantships

GRAs offer students an opportunity to gain research-related experience with program faculty and provide hands-on training with study conducts, analysis and manuscript development.


Additional Information

Injury Additional Information

Epidemiologists working in the area of injury and violence prevention conduct research describing injury hazards, identifying risk factors for injury and violence, and quantifying the effect of various interventions designed to prevent injury and violence. From a public health perspective, injury and violence is a major problem. However, it has received limited attention from epidemiologists. The scope of injury and violence control is broad, encompassing such diverse areas as:

  • Suicide
  • Homicide
  • Youth violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Firearm violence
  • Workplace violence
  • School violence
  • Injury and violence as a global health concern
  • Transportation safety (including occupant and pedestrian safety, roadway design, policies involving alcohol while driving)
  • Older adult falls
  • Occupational injury (including youth labor issues)
  • Sports and recreation injuries
  • Chronic and overuse (or, musculoskeletal) injuries

Students in the Injury Epidemiology Program receive training in how to conduct high-quality epidemiologic research that directly addresses prevention opportunities. Furthermore, they learn how to engage with non-epidemiologists (ranging from policy makers to community advocates) to address interventions that (based on the best available scientific knowledge) will prevent injuries and violence. These experiences are gained through interdisciplinary opportunities in courses taught in the Schools of Public Health, Medicine, and Social Work, and in the Departments of Health Behavior, Maternal and Child Health, Exercise and Sport Science, City and Regional Planning, and Public Policy, as well as through graduate research assistant opportunities with faculty in the Department of Epidemiology and UNC research centers, including the Injury Prevention Research Center, Center for Retired Athletes, Center for Highway Traffic Safety, Center for Regional and Urban Planning, and Thurston Bowles Arthritis Center.

Alumni of the Injury Epidemiology program take positions in the academic, governmental and private sectors. Current positions held by alumni include:
  • Associate Professor, Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Duke University
  • Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Principal Associate Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC
  • Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Education, UNC-Greensboro
  • Assistant Professor, Medical University of South Carolina
  • Epidemiologist, Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute
  • Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University
  • Assistant Professor, University of Utah
  • Epidemiologist, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC
  • Research Analyst, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • Assistant Professor, University of Memphis
  • Assistant Research Professor, Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Duke University
  • Assistant Professor, University of West Virginia
  • Epidemiologist, Epidemiology International
  • Research Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico
  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Thurston Arthritis Research Center, UNC-Chapel Hill
The overall goal of the program in injury epidemiology is to develop epidemiologists who further the science of injury control and are capable of conducting research and translating research findings into action to prevent injuries .

Abilities and Knowledge:
Injury epidemiologists graduating from the program with a PhD will have these abilities :

  • Superb command of the principles of epidemiologic methods and data analysis
  • Ability to design and conduct epidemiologic studies in injury research
  • Ability to collaborate and communicate with other scientists and clinicians in diverse areas, such as, but not limited to, biomechanics, industrial hygiene, ergonomics, and trauma care
  • Ability to read and critically interpret the scientific literature
  • Ability to assess and integrate scientific information from diverse sources
  • Ability to communicate complex epidemiologic concepts, methods, and findings, to non-epidemiologists and non-scientists in simple, clear, and accurate language
  • Ability to develop & implement injury interventions, and to design studies to evaluate interventions
  • Ability to use research findings to prevent injury through collaborations with policy makers, advocacy groups, and others

Injury epidemiologists graduating from the program with a PhD will possess these key knowledge items:

  • Understand the importance of injury, and specific areas within injury, from a public health perspective
  • Understand basic concepts in injury prevention, such as the Haddon matrix, and the difference between active and passive intervention
  • Understand the use of multiple epidemiological study designs to assess risk factors for injury in diverse injury topics
  • Understand the use of epidemiologic studies to quantify the effectiveness of interventions
  • Understand the application of surveillance techniques to injury surveillance
  • Understand the global nature of the injury problem in diverse countries
  • Understand the multidisciplinary and multifactorial nature of injuries

Research Skills

Students will become involved in research early in their graduate career. Students are expected to take the initiative in setting up meetings with their faculty advisors, and with other researchers engaged in injury research. Engagement with the faculty on faculty research projects is a fundamental and very important means for students to develop research skills.

Students should also proactively seek out opportunities to develop their own independent research. They are strongly encouraged to solicit the input of faculty advisers in developing their independent research areas. Faculty can provide assistance with brainstorming ideas, refining research questions, advising on methods and data analysis tools, and accessing existing databases. Faculty will actively promote and assist students in developing research ideas and conducting research, however, the impetus and commitment to developing, conducting, and publishing research needs to come from the student.

Resources

Students are encouraged to engage with the Injury Prevention Research Center, the Highway Safety Research Center, and other resources on campus. A wide range of researchers in the School and elsewhere at UNC conduct or facilitate research related to injuries, including (but not limited to):

  • North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
  • UNC School of Medicine
    • Department of Emergency Medicine
      • North Carolina Disease Event Tracking and Epidemiologic Collection Tool (NC DETECT)
    • Department of Surgery
      • Division of Trauma and Critical Care Surgery
    • Department of Orthopaedics
    • Department of Allied Health Sciences
      • Physical Therapy
      • Human Movement Science
      • Interdisciplinary Human Movement Science Lab
    • Thurston Arthritis Research Center
  • UNC College of Arts and Sciences
    • Department of Exercise and Sport Science
      • Sports Medicine Research Laboratory
      • Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center
      • Center for the Study of Retired Athletes
    • Department of City and Regional Planning
  • UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
    • Department of Maternal and Child Health
    • Department of Health Behavior
  • UNC School of Pharmacy

North Carolina off-campus resources include:

  • North Carolina Injury and Violence Prevention Branch in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Resources, Division of Public Health, Chronic Disease and Injury Section
  • Duke University
    • School of Medicine
      • Department of Community and Family Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
      • Duke Sports Medicine Center
    • Sanford School of Public Policy

Students are also encouraged to engage with local and national groups in the community interested in injury control. These can include:

  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving
  • KidsNCars
  • SafeKids
  • North Carolinians Against Gun Violence

Students are also encouraged to attend the annual meeting of, and join, professional societies such as:

  • Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research
  • Society for Epidemiologic Research
  • American Public Health Association – Injury Control and Emergency Health Services Section
  • American College of Epidemiology

Collapse Additional Information