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Research - Projects

Recent Projects

Since 2005, a series of controversial changes to self-defense laws have been enacted in a number of US states. These laws are known as “stand your ground” or “shoot first” laws, and they expand the rights of individuals to use lethal force in situations when a severe threat to their life is perceived. Advocates of these laws argue that they will result in positive effects on crime, deterring would be criminals. But there are g...

In collaboration with the University of Botswana (UB) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) , the Penn Injury Science Center is working on a D43 Training Grant (Development of an injury and trauma research training program for Botswana (ITRTPB) designed to produce independently functioning Botswana injury scientists and research teams. By building and leveraging existing partnerships and implementing a comprehensive training progra...

Comprehensive User Engagement Sites (CUES) -- sites where people can inject drugs under medical supervision in well-lit, hygienic spaces --  are integral in advising clients about injection-related harms, providing clean injecting supplies, providing linkages to medical and social services, and treating overdoses. Sites that operate in this fashion have existed for over 3 decades in Europe, and for over a decade in Australia a...

Funded by National Institute of Nursing Research: K99/R00NR013548; PENN University Research Foundation, PENN; Dr. Dorothy Mereness Endowed Research Fund, PENN School of Nursing.

As the leading cause of adolescent death and disability, MVCs are a public health crisis. Adolescents ages 16 to 19 years are nearly three times more likely than drivers >19 years to be in a fatal crash. Adolescent drivers are at highest crash risk in t...

Funded by the Penn Injury Science Center 

The crisis of opioid overdoses in the United States (US) has reached epidemic proportions. Efforts to combat opioid overdose deaths include improved prescribing practices, prevention of abuse, treatment of addiction, and harm-reduction measures such as Naloxone that reverse the effects of opioid overdose. Naloxone has been shown to be safe, easy to administer, and when paired with...

Funded by the Federal Highway Administration’s Exploratory Advanced Research program (FHWA 693JJ31750012).

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving led to over 69,000 crashes and sent over 30,000 injury victims to the emergency department in 2015.  In 2017, for U.S. auto-insurance companies posted their worst financial performance in over 15 years, with nearly all leading companies suf...

Funded by the US Food and Drug Administration (HHSF223201810209C).

In 2016, there were over 40,000 deaths from opioid overdose, a five-fold increase since 1999. Prescriptions for acute pain are a driving factor in introducing patients to opioids and creating potential sources of pill diversion to others. Of those who started abusing heroin after 2010, 66% did so after first abusing prescription opioids. A key knowledge gap inhi...

Funded by The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) R01MD010372.

This is a collaborative study with Rand Corporation, Baylor Trauma Center and Penn Presbyterian Trauma Center to examine trauma as a portal to chronic pain.  Chronic pain poses a disproportionate public health burden on racial and ethnic minorities.  Substantial inequities exist in the pain treatment received by African-Americans and...

Funded, in part, by the Penn Injury Science Center and the Centers for Disease Control (R49CE002474) and the National Institute of Nursing Research (F31 NR0113599).

Healthcare providers and law enforcement officers have interrelated mandates when responding to traumatic injuries: to protect and treat injured people, and to maintain public safety. This overlap can bring police into clinical settings that often lack explicit poli...

Funded by Centers for Disease and Control (U501CE00165; R49CE002474)


Do Schools Cause Crime in Neighborhoods? Evidence from the Opening of Schools in Philadelphia funded by Centers for Disease and Control (U501CE00165; R49CE002474) A number of studies have found that crime rates are higher in neighborhoods where school are located. However, these studies don’t actually observe crime before and after a school opens in a neighbo...

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