Shabbar I. Ranapurwala, PhD, MPH, BHMS

Assistant Professor
Department of Epidemiology
Assistant Director for Research Methods
UNC Injury Prevention Research Center
Adjunct Assistant Professor
University of Iowa Department of Epidemiology


Shabbar conducts research to prevent opioid disorders and overdoses, suicides, intimate partner homicides, and firearm violence and examines racial inequities throughout his work. His research involves the use of advanced analytics, causal inference, and quasi-experimental methods on Big Data to understand policy effects at state and local levels. His current research examples include multiple opioids-related grants funded by the CDC - two policy evaluations, FDA - causal inference research for abuse deterrent opioid formulation effects on opioid use disorders (OUD) and overdose, NIH - develop algorithms to better identify OUDs; linking justice involved populations to medications for OUD. Additionally Shabbar's research includes a large NIH funded suicide surveillance study (INSPIRE) and two NIJ funded policy evaluations for domestic violence protective orders (eProtect and eProtect 2.0). INSPIRE and eProtect also include focus on firearm violence.

Shabbar Ranapurwala in the Gillings News

Teaching Interests

EPID 690: Intervention Epidemiology (co-instructor)

Research Activities

The application of quasi-experimental, causal inference, and health equity-related methods to the following substantive areas:
- Prescription and non-prescription opioid use disorders and overdoses
- Firearm violence
- Suicides, self-harm, and mental health
- Gender-based violence
- Occupational injuries

Service Activities

Co-Chair, Anti-racism Interest Group (AIG), The Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR)

Member, Equity Working Group, UNC Injury Prevention Research Center (IPRC)

Practice Activities

The UNC Injury Prevention Research Center collaborates closely with the Injury and Violence Prevention Branch of the Division of Public Health in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. As part of this long-standing collaboration, Dr. Ranapurwala is an active member of the state's Opioid and Prescription Drug Abuse Advisory Council's Research and Evaluation Core.

Key Publications

Association between state policies and opioid prescribing patterns in North Carolina, 2006–2018. *Maierhofer CN, Ranapurwala SI, DiPrete BL, Fulcher N, Ringwalt CL, Chelminski PR, Ives TJ, Dasgupta N, Go VF, Pence BW (1970). Pain Med, pnab181.
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Disparities in potential years of life lost due to intimate partner violence: Data from 16 states for 2006–2015. *Graham LM, Ranapurwala SI, Zimmer C, Macy RJ, Rizo CF, Lanier PL, & Martin SL  (2021). PLoS ONE, 16(2), e0246477.
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State Medical Board Policy and Opioid Prescribing: A Controlled Interrupted Time Series. Ranapurwala SI, Ringwalt CL, Pence BW, Schiro S, Fulcher N, DiPrete BL, Marshall SW (2021). Am J Prev Med, 60(3), 343-351.

State firearm laws, race and law enforcement-related deaths in 16 US states: 2010-2016. *Sivaraman J, Marshall SW, Ranapurwala SI (2020). Inj Prev, 26(6), 569-572.

Healthcare utilization among Latinx children before and after 2017 executive actions on immigration. Cholera R, Ranapurwala SI, Linton J, Shmuel S, Miller-Fitzwater A, Best D, Simha S, Flower KB (2021). Pediatrics, 147(2), e20200272.

Association of restrictive housing during incarceration with post-release mortality. Brinkley-Rubinstein L, Caves JJ, Junker G, Rosen D, Proescholdbell SK, Shanahan ME, Ranapurwala SI (1970). JAMA Netw Open, 2(10), e1912517.

Identifying and addressing confounding bias in violence prevention epidemiology. Ranapurwala SI (2019). Curr Epidemiol Report, 6(2), 200-207.

The Management of Pain in the United States—Implications for the Opioid Epidemic (invited review). Bernard SA, Chelminski PR, Ives TJ, Ranapurwala SI (1970). Health Serv Insights, 11(1178632918819440).
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Opioid overdose mortality among former North Carolina inmates: A retrospective cohort 2000-2015. Ranapurwala SI, Shanahan ME, Alexandridis AA, Proescholdbell ST, Naumann RB, Edwards D, Marshall SW (2018). Am J Public Health, 108(9), 1207-1213.
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Methodologic limitations of prescription opioid safety research and recommendations for improving the evidence base. Ranapurwala SI, Naumann RB, Austin AE, Dasgupta N, Marshall SW (2019). Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf, 28(1), 4-12.
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A GIS-based matched case-control study of road characteristics in farm vehicle crashes from nine Midwestern US states. Ranapurwala SI, Mello ER, Ramirez MR (2016). Epidemiology, 27(6), 827-34.
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Staff/Administrative Duties

- Research Assistant Professor, UNC Department of Epidemiology
- Core Faculty, UNC Injury Prevention Research Center
- Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Iowa Department of Epidemiology


  • PhD, Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2014
  • MPH, Environmental Health, Western Kentucky University, 2009
  • BHMS, Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, India, 2004