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, which results in approximately 30,000 deaths a year and approximately 75,000 nonfatal injuries seen in hospital emergency departments. In the 1980s, he was among the first to look at the problem of guns and violence as a public-health issue and emphasize the importance of prevention, even for clinicians. At that time, guns and the violence associated with them were considered as a mental-health or crime problem.

Magdalena Cerdá, Dr.PH., M.P.H.
Associate Professor
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.


Kara E. Rudolph, Ph.D., M.H.S., M.P.S. (joining in Fall 2016)

Dr. Rudolph received her Ph.D in Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University and is currently a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley. Her recent methodological work focuses on the development and optimization of methods to generalize interventions across sites/ populations. Although there is broad recognition that an intervention that works in one population may not work in another, there has been surprisingly little methodological work on understanding and examining differences across sites/ populations. Quantitative methods that estimate what intervention effects would be in different populations are critical to allocating resources effectively.

Post-doctoral Fellows

Alvaro Castillo, Ph.D.


Dr. Castillo joins us from Chile for a 2-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, Ph.D.

Dr. Kagawa will be joining us as the inagural Robertson Fellowship Post-doctoral Scholar in September 2016. The Robertson Fellowship is a 2-year, intensive program in violence prevention research and policy development. Drs. Wintemute and Cerdá serve as mentors.

Research support

Pamela A. Keach, M.S.
Research Administrator
Phone: 916-734-3168
Email: pakeach@ucdavis.edu

Pamela Keach joined University of California, Davis and the Violence Prevention Research Program in 2014 as a Research Administrator. 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.

Aaron Shev, Ph.D.
Sr. Statistician
Phone: 916-734-4031
E-mail: abshev@ucdavis.edu

Dr. Shev joined VPRP in 2015 after completing his PhD 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.

Mona A. Wright, M.P.H.
Research Associate

Ms. Wright holds a masters 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.

Administrative support

Vanessa McHenry
Operations Assistant
Phone: 916-734-3539
E-mail: vsmchenry@ucdavis.edu

Ms. McHenry serves as operations assistant for the Violence Prevention Research Program. She is also the program's personnel and financial assistant. She has been with the Violence Prevention Research Program since 1992.