Garen Wintemute, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor of Emergency Medicine
Director, Violence Prevention Research Program
Inaugural Susan P. Baker-Stephen P. Teret Chair in Violence Prevention
Garen Wintemute is a pioneer in the field of injury epidemiology and the prevention of firearm violence. His work helped create the public health approach to violence prevention. Dr. Wintemute is VPRP’s director and now also directs UCFC, the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center. He is a practicing emergency medicine physician.
Magdalena Cerdá, Dr.PH., M.P.H.
Associate Director, Vice Chancellor's Endowed Chair in Violence Prevention
Magdalena Cerdá is the Vice Chancellor’s Chair in Violence Prevention, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Cerdá obtained her doctorate in Social Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health and completed a postdoctoral fellowship through the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program. In her research, Dr. Cerdá integrates approaches from social and psychiatric epidemiology to examine how social contexts shape violent behavior, substance use and common forms of mental illness. Her research focuses primarily on two areas: (1) the causes, consequences, and prevention of violence; and (2) the social and policy determinants of substance use from childhood to adulthood.
Pamela A. Keach, M.S.
Pamela Keach is a Research Administrator at the University of California, Davis Violence Prevention Research Program. Previously, Pam was with UC San Francisco where she was a public health program manager, responsible for the implementation and evaluation of statewide chronic disease prevention programs. A recipient of the 2013 Arthritis Foundation, Marilyn Magaram Award for Public Health Leadership, she holds a Master of Science from Golden Gate University, a Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Sacramento, and a certificate in Health Informatics from UC Davis Extension.
Dr. Hannah Laqueur is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of California, Davis. She holds a Ph.D. from Berkeley Law’s doctoral program in Jurisprudence & Social Policy, a Master’s degree in Biostatistics from UC Berkeley, and a Master’s in Public Policy & Administration from Columbia University. She specializes in criminal justice policy and the economics of crime. Her research includes work on substance use and drug policy, gun violence prevention, and machine learning methods to improve and evaluate decision-making in the criminal justice system.
Kara Rudolph is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Rudolph has a Ph.D. in Epidemiology and Master's degree in Biostatistics from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar. Her research interests are in developing and applying causal inference methods to help better understand social and contextual influences on mental health, substance use, and violence in disadvantaged, urban areas of the United States. Her current work, funded by a NIDA K99/R00, is in developing methods to transport mediation effects from one population to another and applying those methods to understand how aspects of the school and peer environments mediate relationships between neighborhood factors and adolescent drug use.
Assistant Professional Researcher
Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz is an Assistant Professional Researcher, an academic appointment that does not involve teaching, at VPRP. She received her Doctorate in Sociology from the University of Washington and her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from UC Los Angeles. Prior to joining VPRP, she was a National Institute on Aging Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan, Population Studies Center. Her research has focused broadly on the social determinants and consequences of population health and health disparities, with a particular emphasis on neighborhood effects and urban poverty, race/ethnicity, and the transmission of inequality over the life course and across generations. Before pursuing graduate training, she worked on youth and community violence prevention efforts as part of a national nonprofit public health and primary prevention organization in Oakland, CA. Her work at VPRP focuses on the social epidemiology and prevention of firearm violence and substance use, including intersections with trauma, race, and policing across the life course.
Dr. Castillo joins VPRP from Chile for a 3-year intensive fellowship on the epidemiology of substance abuse and violence, sponsored in part by the Becas-Chile Scholarship to pursue post-doctoral research outside of Chile. Dr. Castillo's research interests are in the intersection of substance abuse, violence and injury, and social context, particularly in Latin America. He has completed multiple studies to characterize and measure trends of drug and alcohol use among adolescents and young adults in Chile, to estimate the burden of alcohol mortality, and to examine comorbidity, crime history, and other deviant behaviors among cocaine paste users and arrestees in Santiago, Chile. Drs. Wintemute and Cerdá serve as mentors.
Rose Kagawa is the inaugural Robertson Fellowship Post-Doctoral Scholar at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Kagawa received her Ph.D. in Epidemiology and her M.P.H. from the University of California, Berkeley. She conducts research on violence prevention, firearm policy, and adolescent health and has particular interest in understanding how social and environmental contexts influence violence perpetration and victimization and psychosocial development through the life course.
Dr. Andrew Crawford is a Research Data Analyst at the University of California, Davis Violence Prevention Research Program. His research interests include substance use and the intersection of psychological principles with health research. Previously, Dr. Crawford was an Epidemiologist at the California Tribal Epidemiology Center/California Rural Indian Health Board and a Statistician at UC San Francisco.
Mr. McCort joined VPRP as a Research Data Analyst after earning his M.S. in Biostatistics at the University of California, Davis. His interests focus on statistical computing and research methods.
Rocco Pallin is a Research Data Analyst at the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program. Her work is focused on firearm violence prevention, with particular interest in firearm policy evaluation and community- and hospital-based interventions for firearm violence prevention. She also directs the What You Can Do initiative. Rocco has a background in youth development and community health. She holds an M.P.H. from Tulane University and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
Veronica Pear joined VPRP as a Research Data Analyst after graduating from UC Berkeley with a Master of Public Health concentrating in epidemiology and biostatics. She holds an additional Master’s degree in philosophy (UC San Diego, 2012). She is particularly interested in using causal inference methods to understand the nexus of firearm violence, gender-based violence, health disparities, and the social determinants of health.
Project Coordinator & Analyst
Ariadne Rivera-Aguirre received her B.A. in Economics from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and has a Master of Public Policy from Duke University. She has been involved in the quantitative analysis of social and economic factors of substance use. Prior joining VPRP, she worked in consulting and policy analysis in developing countries on topics related to reducing the economic and social inequality regarding access and use of information and communication technologies (ICT). Ariadne’s areas of interest include economic development, poverty and inequality, and violence prevention.
Dr. Shev joined VPRP after completing his Ph.D. in Statistics at the University of California, Davis. His research is in machine learning and social network analysis with a focus on ranking and clustering methods.
Dr. Liz Tomsich is a VPRP Research Data Analyst. Liz has over ten years of experience conducting research on interpersonal violence and policy in academic and law enforcement settings. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Affairs from the University of Colorado, Denver.
Ms. Wright holds a Master’s degree in epidemiology from the University of Washington. She has worked with Dr. Wintemute since 1985 and with the Violence Prevention Research Program since 1990. She has served as lead investigator for several VPRP studies of firearm violence.
Contracts and Grants Analyst
Brian Hayes is a Research Administrator at the Violence Prevention Research Program. He joined VPRP after four years as Research Development Analyst for the UC Davis Department of Family & Community Medicine. He holds a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and is a practicing mental health clinician.