Charles Branas

Charles Branas

Charles Branas

Gelman Endowed Professor
Chair, Department of Epidemiology


722 West 168th Street, Rm 1508
New York NY USA 10032
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Dr. Branas has conducted research that extends from urban and rural areas in the US to communities across the globe, incorporating place-based interventions and human geography. He has led win-win science that generates new knowledge while simultaneously creating positive, real-world changes and providing health-enhancing resources for local communities. His pioneering work on geographic access to medical care has changed the healthcare landscape, leading to the designation of new hospitals and a series of national scientific replications in the US and other countries for many conditions: trauma, cancer, stroke, etc. His research on the geography and factors underpinning gun violence has been cited by landmark Supreme Court decisions, Congress, and the NIH Director. With community partners, Dr. Branas led the first citywide randomized controlled trials to transform vacant lots and abandoned buildings as sustainable solutions to improving health and safety, including reductions in gun violence. He has worked internationally on four continents and led multi-national efforts, producing extensive cohorts of developing nation scientists, national health metrics, and worldwide press coverage.


Other, 2000, University of California
PhD, 1998, Johns Hopkins University
MS, 1993, Drexel University
BA, 1990, Franklin and Marshall College

Other Affiliations

Director/PI, Columbia Center for Injury Science and Prevention
Advisory Committee, Columbia Population Research Center
Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Honors & Awards

Elected Member, National Academy of Medicine
Elected Member, American Epidemiological Society
Past President, Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research
Outstanding Service Award, American Trauma Society
Excellence in Epidemiology Teaching Award, University of Pennsylvania

Select Urban Health Activities

A Randomized Trial of Abandoned Housing Remediation, Substance Abuse and Violence, NIH, R01AA024941, Role: PI
A Randomized Trial of Urban Vacant Lot Stabilization and Substance Abuse Outcomes, NIH, R01AA020331, Role: PI

Select Global Activities

Injury prevention, access and equity, Health Research Council
Injury and chronic diseases research, NIH Fogarty International Center
Injury and HIV research, NIH Fogarty International Center

Select Publications

Branas CC, Reeping PM, Rudolph KE. Beyond gun laws: Innovative interventions to reduce gun violence in the United States. JAMA Psychiatry, 8:1-2, 2020.
Reeping PM, Cerda M, Kalesan B, Wiebe DJ, Galea S, Branas CC. State gun laws, gun ownership, and mass shootings in the United States. BMJ - British Medical Journal, 364: 1542-8, 2019.
Parker C, Hirsch J, Hansen H, Branas CC, Martins S. Facing Opioids in the Shadow of the HIV Epidemic. NEJM - New England Journal of Medicine 380(1); 1-3, 2019.
Branas CC, South E, Kondo MC, Hohl BC, Bourgois P, Wiebe DJ, MacDonald JM. A citywide cluster randomized trial to restore blighted vacant land and its effects on violence, crime and fear. PNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115(8), 1-11, 2018.
South EC, Hohl BC, Kondo MC, MacDonald JM, Branas CC. Effect of greening vacant land on mental health: a citywide randomized controlled trial. JAMA Network Open 1(3), 1-14, 2018.
Culyba AJ, Jacoby S, Richmond TS, Fein JA, Hohl BC, Branas CC: Modifiable environmental features related to adolescent homicide. JAMA Pediatrics 170(3): 1-8, 2016.
Branas CC, Kastanaki AE, Michalodimitrakis M, Tzougas J, Kranioti EF, Theodorakis PN, Carr BG, Wiebe DJ: The impact of economic austerity and prosperity events on suicide in Greece: a 30-year interrupted time-series analysis. BMJ - British Medical Journal Open 5(1): 1-11, 2015.
Branas CC, Cheney RA, MacDonald JM, Tam VW, Jackson TD, Ten Have TR: A difference-in-differences analysis of health, safety, and greening vacant urban space. AJE - American Journal of Epidemiology 174: 1-11, 2011.
Branas CC, Richmond TS, Culhane DP, TenHave TR, Wiebe DJ: Investigating the link between gun possession and gun assault. AJPH - American Journal of Public Health 99(11): 2034-40, 2009.
Branas CC, MacKenzie EJ, Williams JC, Schwab CW, Teter HM, Flanigan MC, Blatt AJ, ReVelle CS: Access to trauma centers in the United States. JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association 293(21): 2626-2633, 2005.

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