Charles C. Branas, PhD

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Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology in Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Department: Biostatistics and Epidemiology

Contact information
Blockley Hall
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, 19104-6021
BA (Mathematics)
Franklin and Marshall College, 1990.
MS (School of Technology)
Drexel University, 1993.
PhD (School of Public Health)
Johns Hopkins University, 1998.
Post-doc (School of Public Health)
University of California, Berkeley, 2000.
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Description of Research Expertise

Charles Branas is currently Department Chair and Gelman Endowed Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He has been affiliated with and on faculty at the University of Pennsylvania for over 25 years. 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. Dr. Branas has also led large-scale scientific work to transform thousands of vacant lots, abandoned buildings and other blighted spaces in improving the health and safety of entire communities. These are the first citywide randomized controlled trials of urban blight remediation and have shown this intervention to be a cost-effective solution to persistent urban health problems like 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.

Selected Publications

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): 1-4, 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.

Hohl BC, Wiley S, Wiebe DJ, Culyba AJ, Drake R, Branas CC: Association of drug and alcohol use with adolescent firearm homicide at individual, family, and neighborhood levels. JAMA Internal Medicine Page: 1-7, 2017.

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.

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

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Last updated: 09/03/2019
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