The Penn Injury Science Center promotes cutting-edge interdisciplinary research to prevent injury and violence and its consequence to individuals, families, and communities. Our diverse group of scientists, clinicians, practitioners, and community partners provide the intellectual guidance and infrastructure to conduct impactful and rigorous research; support the development of and fund exploratory projects in emerging areas of research; and keep the PISC community abreast of cutting-edge research, theory, and methods.
The breadth of our focus areas demonstrates the multi-disciplinary nature of PISC and the cross-cutting injury prevention efforts we take on.
Our scholars receive funding from the NIH, CDC, and other leading scientific and charitable cause foundations to conduct high caliber research. Amongst these projects are the CDC Core Research Projects and the intramural PISC pilot and exploratory projects, both of which have the goal of using innovative methods to study and solve issues of injury and violence in line with the research priorities of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC).
Behavioral Science and Analytics for Injury Reduction (BeSAFIR) aims to discover new, effective ways to prevent injuries and optimize outcomes after injuries occur, through behavioral economics and data science.
Urban Health Lab
Urban Health Lab (UHL) is dedicated to designing and testing individual and community level interventions to build healthy and safe neighborhoods, with a unique focus on place-based interventions such as vacant lot greening, tree planting, microparks, abandoned house remediation, structural repairs to occupied homes, trash clean-up, and more.
Biostatistics Evaluation Collaboration Consultation Analysis (BECCA) provides a team of highly skilled doctoral and master’s level statisticians to design, implement, analyze, and disseminate research.
NCGVR/RAND Firearm Injury Study
We’ve set out to study firearm injury in a way that has not been done before. A recent comprehensive review by RAND found that, while state firearm policies seemingly are mechanisms that hold considerable potential for preventing firearm injuries and death, the research conducted to date has been limited in quantity, quality, and scope. As a result, little evidence has been generated regarding which laws hold promise in preventing injury. And while time trends in firearm mortality have been well characterized at a national level and variation has been demonstrated at the state level within given years, there is limited understanding about how firearm mortality rates have changed over time and space.
This represents an untapped opportunity to unlock new insights on how to prevent firearm deaths. The objective of this exploratory study is to use geographic “hotspotting” to discover U.S. counties that are positive and negative outliers in changes in firearm mortality rates over time and then characterize policy and non-policy differences between these outliers to develop novel insights on how to prevent firearm injury deaths. In other words, we’re identifying the counties with the highest and lowest rates of firearm injury and death (and the counties that have changed the most over time) and comparing that to state laws and other characteristics that may explain them as an “outlier.”
Injury Science Incubator
Our monthly research meetings serve as an injury science incubator. Attended by faculty, students, and trainees, these sessions serve to germinate new ideas; promote critical dialogue about emerging research concepts; refine research proposals; vet manuscripts; host data-based presentations; and solve challenges that arise when carrying out research.
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