Research Interest Area: Injury Epidemiology

Accident car crash with bicycle on road

Students in the injury epidemiology interest area will have opportunities to collaborate and gain skills across many disciplines (e.g., medicine, engineering, psychology, urban planning, etc.) which will prepare them for careers in this growing field.


Injury and violence are the leading causes of death among young people between 1 and 44 years of age in the U.S. Unintentional injuries from motor vehicle crashes, falls, fires/burns, poisonings (primarily from prescription drug overdoses), and violence from homicides and suicides kill more young people each year than cancer, diabetes, heart disease and the flu.

This interest area will prepare you for jobs in a wide range of settings:

  • academia
  • local to international agencies
  • non-profits
  • industry

Students with a Master’s degree (MS or MPH) may go on to become a project coordinator, evaluator, or data manager and students earning PhDs may find careers as independent researchers or senior epidemiologists in a federal agency. To learn more about careers in injury and violence prevention, click here.

Students with the following topic interests are encouraged to explore this research interest area:

  • unintentional injury and violence prevention
  • occupational and environmental epidemiology
  • intervention and translational research
  • pharmacoepidemiology
  • behavioral health
  • rural acute care
  • road traffic safety
  • interpersonal violence
  • older adult falls
  • opioid overdose
  • traumatic brain injury
  • injury and trauma systems evaluation
  • global injury
  • sports injury
  • self-harm and suicide
  • adverse childhood experiences


Faculty members primarily working in this area

James TornerTraumatic brain injury, injury and trauma systems evaluation, rural acute care,
Cara HamannRoad safety, vulnerable road users (pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, teen drivers, older drivers), global injury prevention, child passenger safety
Jonathan PlattSuicide and suicidal behaviors, alcohol and substance use, child and adolescent health
Carri CasteelWorkplace violence prevention, occupational safety, older adult falls prevention, epidemiology of prescription drug overdoses

Collaborating faculty

Rima Afifiadolescent and youth, refugees, mental health, community-based participatory research, intervention development and evaluation
Sato Ashidaaging, disaster preparedness, evaluation
Natoshia AskelsonHealth policy and behavior change, family and child health, health communication, evaluation
Mark BergCriminology, social psychology, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), interpersonal conflicts
Timothy BrownDriving safety, in-vehicle systems, warning systems, medical considerations in driving, driver performance
Ryan CarnahanPharmacoepidemiology, aging
Joe CavanaughModel selection, time series analysis, modeling diagnostics
Jonathan DavisOlder adult injuries, focus on motor vehicle crashes and fall-related injuries; policy and program evaluation addressing robbery and work place violence prevention
Megan GilsterDiversity and social justice, health, mental health, and disability, organizations and communities
Colette GaletBurn injuries, traumatic brain injuries, opioid prescription practices, older adult injuries including frailty, fall, fall prevention, and identification of predictors of falls and fall injuries
Kari HarlandTeen driver crash prevention, family violence, work-related crashes
Chuck JennissenAll-terrain vehicle injury prevention, pediatric emergency care
Michele LilienthalTraumatic injuries, burns, emergency management and treatment
Dan McGeheeDriver attention and response, crash avoidance, automation, traumatology
Nick MohrEmergency department telemedicine, time-to-care
Elizabeth O’NealUnintentional injury prevention, evidence-based behavioral intervention, parent-child interaction, perceptual-motor skill, social and psychological determinants of health
Edith ParkerGlobal public health, community-based participatory research, health equity, environmental health interventions
Steve SpearsTravel behavior, physical activity, road safety, spatial analysis
Priyanka VakkalankaSuicide and substance use disorders
Kristel WetjenPediatric traumatic and unintentional injury prevention, child passenger safety, toy safety, bicycling safety
Armeda WojciakTrauma-informed practices, parent-child relationships, at-risk youth, social and education policy
Rachel YoungSocial media, user-generated digital content, cyberbullying, bystander intervention, interventions
Xun ZhouSpatial and spatio-temporal data mining, big data analytics, geographic information systems, motor vehicle crashes


Featured Courses

  • EPID:4510 Injury and Violence Prevention
  • CPH:4220 Global Road Safety
  • EPID:6510 Injury Epidemiology

Learning Objectives

Students interested in injury epidemiology are preparing for a career in which they will:

  • Apply concepts of injury control and prevention to identify and prioritize injury problems and quantify and prioritize risk and protective factors in communities and high-risk populations,
  • Identify strategies to prevent injuries, and implement and evaluate injury prevention control measures and programs,
  • Apply epidemiologic methods in injury research and use statistical applications to analyze and interpret data,
  • Successfully compete for federal, state and foundation grants,
  • Participate in advocacy efforts for injury prevention research, funding and programs
  • Lead and manage large-scale etiologic, intervention, and translational research studies

Recommended Plan of Study for the Injury Epidemiology Research Interest Area PhD Elective Requirement

course #course names.h.semester(s) offered*
Students interested in injury epidemiology will take the following two courses:
EPID:4510Injury and Violence Prevention3 s.h.Fall
EPID:6510Injury Epidemiology3 s.h.Spring even years *
In addition, students will choose at least 17 s.h. from the following recommended courses or courses approved by faculty in the Injury Epidemiology program. Students should select courses in consultation with their advisor to reflect their research interest area (e.g. unintentional injury and violence prevention, occupational and environmental epidemiology, program/intervention development and evaluation, pharmacoepidemiology, or behavioral health):
BIOS:5130Applied Categorical Data Analysis 3 s.h.Fall
CBH:5220Health Behavior and Health Education3 s.h.Fall
CBH:5305Evaluation: Approaches and Applications3 s.h.Fall
CBH:5310Qualitative Research for Public Health3 s.h.Spring even years
CBH:6205Designing and Implementing Interventions3 s.h.Fall
CBH: 5235Community-Based Participatory Research3 s.h.Spring
EPID:5214Meta-Analysis of Epidemiologic Studies3 s.h.Fall odd years beginning Fall 25
EPID:6075Health Equity and Social Justice3 s.h.Spring
EPID:6900Design of Intervention and Clinical Trials3 s.h.Fall
EPID:6071Social Epidemiology3 s.h.Fall
EPID:6420Survey Design and Analysis3 s.h.Spring even years
EPID:6920Applied Administrative Data Analysis2 s.h.Fall
OEH:4310Occupational Ergonomics: Principles3 s.h.Fall
CPH:4220Global Road Safety3 s.h.Spring
OEH:5410Occupational Safety3 s.h.Spring even years
GEOG:4150Health and Environment: GIS Applications3 s.h.Fall

*Semester(s) offered subject to change due to enrollment, instructor availability, etc. Students should always check the course schedule at for the most up to date version of the course schedule.

Centers and Resources

Centers and Institutes

Research Resources

Professional Organizations

Major Research Projects

Doctoral Student Profiles

Funding Opportunities

Students affiliated with the UI IPRC receive financial support through training and research grants. Funding assistance strengthens our ability to support students interested in conducting research in injury and violence prevention. Learn more about these opportunities…