Annual CCISP Symposium, May 6, 2021

Annual Columbia Center for Injury Science and Prevention Symposium

Thursday, May 6, 2021
10:00 AM -4:00 PM

The conference will be held via Zoom.

Download the Symposium Flyer
Download the Detailed Agenda

Register Online

Dear Injury Prevention Colleague,

You are invited to attend our Annual Symposium of the Columbia Center for Injury Science and Prevention (CCISP), Applying an Equity Lens to Injury and Violence Prevention. The symposium will be held on May 6, 2021 from 10 am to 4 pm with keynote speaker, Law Professor Ekow Yankah.

Registration is free, but required so a Zoom link can be sent to your email address. Register here.

Injury and violence topics to be addressed include adverse and positive childhood experiences, transportation safety, older adult falls, substance use and misuse, firearm safety and updates from injury and violence prevention partners.

Center Director, Dr. Charlie Branas, will open the symposium with a welcome to attendees. Program content will begin at 10:10 am ET.  The keynote will begin at 11:15am, partner reports at 1:00 pm and networking roundtables at 1:30 pm (see the agenda for details).

Schedule of Injury Epidemiology Unit Seminars, Spring 2021

All of the seminars listed below will be held from 11:30 – 12:30 pm via live webinar. Please email Gerald Govia if you would like to attend (

Click to download a PDF flier of this schedule.

JANUARY 25, 2021

Critically examining three intersections of public health injury & policing: traffic stops, death by law enforcement, and opioid overdose indicators

Mike Dolan Fliss, PhD, MPS, MSW
Epidemiology Research Scientist,
Injury Prevention Center,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

FEBRUARY 22, 2021

Substance Use Among Victims of Violence

Edouard Coupet Jr, MD, MS
Assistant Professor,
Drug Use, Addiction and HIV Research Scholar (DAHRS),
Department of Emergency Medicine
Yale University

MARCH 15, 2021

Mass criminalization and incarceration: state violence as response to interpersonal violence

Sandhya Kajeepeta, MS
Doctoral Student
Department of Epidemiology
Mailman School of Public Health
Columbia University

APRIL 19, 2021

Injury risk and prevention among people who inject drugs

Ricky N. Bluthenthal, PhD
Associate Dean for Social Justice and Professor
Department of Preventive Medicine, Institute for Prevention Research
Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California


Annual 2020 CCISP Symposium Attracts Record Attendance

View the full symposium agenda and selected slides.

The 2020 Annual Columbia Center for Injury Science and Prevention (CCISP) Symposium, “Science in Service to Safety”, was held virtually by webinar on Thursday, May 21, 2020. The Center Director, Dr. Charles Branas, welcomed more than 160 attendees to this year’s violence-focused symposium.

A conference highlight included the keynote address titled “Mass Shootings: What We Know and Why It Matters” delivered by renowned professor and author of Rampage Nation, Lou Klarevas.

Dr. Sonali Rajan, faculty at Teacher’s College and Mailman SPH, moderated a lightning round on Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs): Issues and contributing factors. Her session included presentations on cognitive control performance and fMRI correlates that vary by ACEs in children, ACEs and criminality, child maltreatment, gender and sensation seeking trajectories, an examination of the proportion of US deaths attributable to ACES, and gun violence prevention through amplifying the voice of urban youth.

Several CCISP partners and collaborators provided updates from their organizations. Of particular interest to attendees was an update from Lauren Paterno of AAA Northeast who announced a new high school curriculum on teen marijuana use and driving developed in a AAA collaboration with Brown University. Originally developed to be delivered in the classroom, the curriculum has now been adapted for on-line virtual delivery. Preliminary evaluations using a pre-post test format have shown a dramatic change in the proportion of teens who recognize the dangers that driving after smoking marijuana poses.


The symposium’s traditional lunch topic roundtables were held via of zoom breakout sessions using gallery mode so that roundtable attendees could network “face-to-face”. Several attendees requested to continue the networking on a regular basis post conference. The evaluation form provided space for attendees to enroll in post conference networking virtual zoom meetings. Approximately 80% completing the evaluation survey said they would like to continue to network with roundtables. The proportion of those who said they would like to continue to network via of roundtables by table topic were: gun violence/firearms (79%), transportation safety (68%), older adult falls (65%), adolescent depression/suicide (62%), ACES (59%), and overdose (54%).

These are expected to begin in August and September.

The six breakout topics included:

  1. Adverse and positive childhood experiences (led by Sonali Rajan/Virginia Rauh)    
  2. Adolescent depression/suicide  (led by Katherine Keyes)
  3. Gun violence and advances in firearm safety (led by Kara Rudolph and Pina Violano)
  4. Advances and challenges in transportation safety (Led by Michael Bauer and Joyce Pressley)
  5. Drug overdose   (led by Silvia Martins)
  6. Older adult falls   (led by Thelma Mielenz)                   

Future Symposium Format Suggestions

Attendees were asked about their preferences for the format of future symposiums. Surprisingly, only 19% indicated a preference for an in-person only format. Nearly 38% reported a preference for in-person (19%) or a blended in-person and virtual format (19%). Two-thirds reported a preference for a virtual format– either using zoom (48%) or a blended in-person and virtual format (19%). Several respondents reported lack of travel funds to come to the symposium and said the virtual format allowed them to attend.

Outreach Director, Dr. Joyce Pressley, worked with the CCISP outreach team and core faculty to organize and moderate the symposium. The symposium was co-sponsored by CCISP in the Department of Epidemiology and the Columbia University Seminar in Injury Prevention and Control.

Multidisciplinary workshop on strategic approaches for advancing infant and child occupant protection

A Transportation Research Board sponsored workshop titled Strategic Approaches for Advancing Infant- and Child-Occupant Protection: Birth to 15 Years on will be held on Sunday, January 12th from 9:00 am to noon in Washington, DC. This workshop was organized by Joyce Pressley of Columbia University and Maria Vegega, who recently retired from NHTSA. The workshop brings together CDC, NHTSA, academics, consultants, and private industry to discuss existing and emerging issues in infant, child and adolescent motor vehicle occupant protection.

This workshop will examine strategic approaches and best practices for addressing current and emerging issues in infant and child motor vehicle occupant safety across the four critical stages of pediatric occupant protection, from birth to 15 years of age. A broad array of speakers will provide updates and a framework to guide discussion of current and emerging factors contributing to infant and child endangerment, effective interventions, expanded social media communication tools, knowledge gaps, and research needs. Speakers and discussants include research and policy institutions, practitioners, university researchers, government agencies and private consulting organizations.

Registration for the TRB Annual Conference is required for attendance.

Contact for questions: Joyce Pressley, PhD, MPH, Chair of ANB45 Occupant Protection,

Workshop organized by: Joyce Pressley, Columbia University and Chair of ANB45, Occupant Protection and Maria Vegega, Road Safety Consulting

Sponsored by Standing Committee on Occupant Protection (ANB45)

Schedule of Injury Epidemiology Unit Seminars, Spring 2020

All of the seminars listed below will be held from 11:30 – 12:30 pm in the Hammer Health Sciences Building (701 West 168th Street, Rm HSC 322). Lunch will be served. Webinar link also listed with each talk.

Click to download a PDF flier of this schedule.

JANUARY 27, 2020

Cannabis impaired driving

Ashley Brooks-Russell, MPH, PhD
Assistant Professor, Community and Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public Health, Colorado University Anschutz Medical Campus

Zoom address:


FEBRUARY 24, 2020

Linking criminal justice and healthcare data to address the opioid crisis

Noa Krawczyk, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health,
New York University Langone

Zoom address:

MARCH 23, 2020

Evaluating the Impact of “Stand Your Ground” Self-defense Laws

David K. Humphreys
Associate Professor of Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation Research Fellow, Green Templeton College Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford

Zoom address:

APRIL 27, 2020

Substance-related Injury: Random Breath Testing, Alcohol Fuelled Violence and Drug Use

Jason Ferris, PhD
Associate Professor, Centre for Health Services Research, Translational Research Institute, The University of Queensland

Zoom address:


Schedule of Injury Epidemiology Unit Seminars, Fall 2019

All of the seminars listed below will be held from 11:30 – 12:30 pm in the Hammer Health Sciences Building (701 West 168th Street, Rm HLL201). Lunch will be served. Webinar link also listed with each talk.

Click here to download a PDF of this schedule.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2019

Sports-related concussions

James M. Noble, MD, MS, CPH, FAAN, Associate Professor of Neurology at CUMC, Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain & GH Sergievsky Center, Department of Neurology, Columbia University Medical Center

Zoom address:

OCTOBER 14, 2019

Sexual Assault on College Campus- Perceptions, Peer Experience, Victimization

Shankar Viswanathan, DrPH, MSc
Assistant Professor, Division of Biostatistics, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Zoom address:

NOVEMBER 11, 2019

Cannabis Policy and Injury

Jennifer M. Whitehill, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Health Promotion & Policy, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Zoom address:

DECEMBER 9, 2019

Measuring the opioid epidemic: Surveillance to inform and evaluate a public health approach

Michelle Nolan, MPH
Doctoral Candidate, Department of Epidemiology, MSPH, Epidemiologist, Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use Prevention, Care, and Treatment, NYCDOHMH

Zoom address:


Announcing Columbia SURGE

The Columbia SURGE (Scientific Union for the Reduction of Gun Violence) capitalizes on the university’s convening power to generate new science, new scientists, and transformative solutions to the tragedy of gun violence.

2019 Krauss Award Winner Named

Svetla Slavova, PhD, receives the Jess Kraus Award from Dr. Guohua Li, Editor in Chief of Injury Epidemiology.

During the 7th annual Symposium of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University, Svetla Slavova, PhD, of the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center received the Jess Kraus award. It is an honor the editorial board of Injury Epidemiology provides annually to acknowledge the paper which best demonstrates novelty, simplicity, and clarity while establishing the potential to impact population health.

Slavova’s paper, “Interrupted Time Series Design to Evaluate the Effect of the ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM Coding Transition on Injury Hospitalization Trends,” raised awareness about how structural and conceptual changes in the ICD-10-CM coding system must be understood to assure accurate interpretation of injury trends.

“It’s a tremendous honor to receive this award – particularly for this paper,” Slavova said. “Improving surveillance quality is necessary for our communities to have strong data to inform their prevention activities. This recognition of the work my colleagues and I do to translate data to action confirms the importance of the work and is personally rewarding,” she continued.

Slavova is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Kentucky. She is currently principal investigator on grants from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration. Her research interests surround improved injury surveillance data and methodology, drug overdose prevention research, analytical enhancement of prescription drug monitoring programs, and health outcomes associated with substance use and misuse.

Svetla Slavova, PhD

Svetla Slavova, PhD

Dr. Slavova has authored and co-authored a number of peer-reviewed publications highlighting the analytical approaches to understanding and combating the opioid epidemic. In 2018, she was named Lexington Public Health Hero for her work to provide free community supplies of naloxone. She received the 2018 Distinguished Leader Award from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists for her leadership for improved drug overdose mortality surveillance. For her outstanding research achievements, Dr. Slavova was named 2019-2020 University Research Professor by the University of Kentucky.

The Jess Kraus award commemorates Professor Jess F. Kraus, PhD, MPH, a pioneer in injury research.  Kraus was appointed and elected to a number of professional societies and organizations. He also served as a member of the Motor Vehicle Safety Research Advisory Committee of the US Department of Transportation as well as the World Health Organization Expert Advisory Panel on Accident Prevention.  In addition, he has conducted studies on motorcycle crashes, pedestrian injuries, work-related trauma and brain and spinal cord injuries.  Kraus has nearly 200 publications.  Also, he teaches three graduate courses on injury epidemiology and supervises both PhD and Masters students at UCLA.