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.


Pamela A. Keach, M.S.
Research Administrator


(916) 734-3168

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.


Rose Kagawa, Ph.D, M.P.H.

Assistant Professor


Rose Kagawa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine 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 and firearm policy and has particular interest in understanding how social and environmental contexts influence violence perpetration and victimization through the life course. Current projects include estimating the effects of changes to the built environment, including the demolition of vacant and dilapidated buildings, and poverty reduction interventions on the incidence of violence.


Hannah S. Laqueur, Ph.D., M.A., M.P.A.

Assistant Professor


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.

Professional Researchers

Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz, Ph.D., M.P.H.

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.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Shani Buggs, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Postdoctoral Fellow


Shani Buggs is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Violence Prevention Research Program.  Her primary areas of research include community-level gun violence prevention programs and policies, firearm access and availability, comprehensive approaches to reducing violence through policies and programs at the local, state, and federal levels, and intersections between drugs, drug law enforcement, and gun violence.  She completed her master’s degree in Public Health and her doctorate in Health and Public Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


Amanda Charbonneau, Ph.D., M.P.P.

Postdoctoral Fellow


Amanda Charbonneau is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Violence Prevention Research Program in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of California, Davis. Her research interests include the effects of laws, policies, and trainings on practitioner judgment and decision making. She holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Public Policy degree from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

Research Staff

Andrew Crawford, Ph.D.

Data Analyst


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.

Chris McCort, M.S.

Data Analyst


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, M.P.H.

Data Analyst


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, M.P.H.

Data Analyst


Veronica Pear has been working as a Research Data Analyst at VRPR since 2016. She holds master’s degrees in public health (UC Berkeley, 2016) and philosophy (UC San Diego, 2012), and she is currently working toward a PhD in epidemiology at UC Berkeley. Her work is broadly focused on identifying the causes and consequences of firearm violence and evaluating firearm policies. Current projects include an evaluation of California’s Gun Violence Restraining Order policy and an analysis of the impact of firearm acquisition on risk of recurrent intentional injuries.


Julia Schleimer, M.P.H.

Data Analyst


Julia Schleimer joined VPRP as a Research Data Analyst after earning her Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology and the social determinants of health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Julia’s research focuses on applying social epidemiology to the intersecting causes and consequences of violence, substance use, and mental health.


Aaron Shev, Ph.D.

Senior Statistician


Dr. Aaron Shev is a senior statistician at the Violence Prevention Research Program in the Department of Emergency Medicine at University of California, Davis. Dr. Shev earned his Ph.D. in Statistics from Department of Statistics at University of California, Davis. His research focuses on applications of statistical learning and predictive modeling to answer questions related to firearm violence and substance use.


Colette Smirniotis, Ph.D., M.S.

Data Analyst


Dr. Smirniotis is a Research Data Analyst at VPRP. She completed her doctorate in Computational Statistics and her Master’s degree in Statistics with a concentration in Biostatistics at San Diego State University. Her research interests include spatial modeling and machine learning.


Sydney Sohl

Data Analyst


Sydney began working with the Violence Prevention Research program as an undergraduate student employee in 2016 and now works with the team as a Research Data Analyst. She will begin a Master of Science in Nursing program at UC Davis in the summer of 2019. She plans to incorporate both research and clinical work into her future career.


Liz Tomsich, Ph.D.

Data Analyst


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.


Mona Wright, M.P.H.

Research Associate


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.