Charles C. Branas, PhD

faculty photo
Professor of Epidemiology in Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Department: Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Blockley Hall
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, 19104-6021
BA (Mathematics)
Franklin and Marshall College, 1990.
MS (School of Technology & Prof Studies)
Drexel University, 1993.
PhD (School of Public Health)
Johns Hopkins University, 1997.
Post-doc (School of Public Health)
University of California, Berkeley, 2000.
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Description of Research Expertise

Charles Branas is a Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Branas works to improve health and healthcare and is recognized for his efforts to reduce violence and enhance emergency care. Much of his work incorporates human geography and place-based change. His studies have taken him to cities and small towns across the US and other countries. Dr. Branas has served on boards and offered scientific expertise for numerous groups including the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the Institute of Medicine, the National Research Council, the American Public Health Association, the South African Medical Research Council, and the Canadian National Research Council. His work has been cited by the US Supreme Court and Congress. He is a past President of the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research, an elected member of the American Epidemiological Society, and affiliated faculty at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala and the University of Otago in New Zealand.

Additional Positions

Director, Urban Health Lab (
Director, Cartographic Modeling Laboratory (
Director, Penn Injury Science Center
Professor of Emergency Medicine (secondary)
Professor of Surgery (secondary)
Senior Fellow, The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
Senior Fellow, Center for Public Health Initiatives
Faculty Fellow, Institute for Urban Research

Courses Led

PUBH 571/EPID 518: Geography and Health
HSOC 230: Fundamentals of Epidemiology
EPID 560: Research Protocol Development
EPID 510: Epidemiologic Study Design
PUBH 508: Public Health Capstone Seminar

Selected Publications

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. British Medical Journal Open 5(1): 1-11, 2015.

South EC, Kondo MC, Cheney RA, Branas CC: Neighborhood blight, stress, and health: A walking trial of urban greening and ambulatory heart rate. American Journal of Public Health 105(5): e1-5, 2015.

Kondo MC, Keene D, Hohl BC, MacDonald JM, Branas CC: A difference-in-differences study of the effects of a new abandoned building remediation strategy on safety. PLoS One (in press), 2015.

Puac-Polanco VD, Lopez Soto VA, Kohn R, Xie D, Richmond TS, Branas CC : Previous violent events and mental health outcomes in Guatemala. American Journal of Public Health 105(4): 764-771, 2015.

Wiebe DJ, Richmond TS, Guo W, Allison PD, Hollander JE, Nance ML, Branas CC: Mapping activity patterns to quantify risk of violent assault in urban environments. Epidemiology (in press), 2015.

Kondo MC, Low S, Henning J, Branas CC: The impact of green stormwater infrastructure installation on surrounding health and safety. American Journal of Public Health 105(3): 114-121, 2015.

Branas CC, Wolff CS, Williams J, Margolis G, Carr BG: Simulating changes to emergency care resources to compare system effectiveness. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 66(8): 57-64, 2013.

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. 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. 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. Journal of the American Medical Association 293(21): 2626-2633, 2005.

Branas CC, Nance ML, Elliott MR, Richmond TS, Schwab CW: Urban-rural shifts in intentional firearm death: different causes, same results. American Journal of Public Health 94(10): 1750-1755, 2004.

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Last updated: 07/01/2015
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania