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New Jersey’s Center on Gun Violence Research, which is among the first such centers in the United States, will conduct interdisciplinary research on the causes, consequences and solutions to gun-related violence, while respecting the rights of legal, safe gun ownership and use. The Center on Gun Violence Research works in collaboration with, and is supported by New Jersey’s Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE).


The Center’s mission is to provide high- quality, multi-disciplinary research on gun violence causality and prevention and translate this research into clear and actionable policies and programs, therefore creating safe and healthy environments. The Center will achieve this mission by partnering with local, state and national experts, accessing data to conduct research that identifies factors involved in gun violence, developing interventions to reduce gun violence and translating science into effective programs and policies to ensure their widespread adoption.


The Center will focus on research, training & education, and outreach. Capitalizing on the existing strengths of local, state, and national agencies and Rutgers’s ongoing collaborative relationships with these agencies, the Center will work to facilitate data linkage that advances gun research within the state. The Center will produce and support original research on gun violence that reduces the burden on individuals and society by focusing on:  

  1. the nature of gun violence, including individual and societal determinants of risk for involvement in gun violence, whether as a victim or a perpetrator;  

  2. the individual, community, and societal consequences of gun violence;  

  3. prevention and treatment of gun violence at the individual, community, and societal levels;

  4. the effectiveness of existing laws and policies intended to reduce gun violence, including the criminal misuse of guns; 

  5. efforts to promote the responsible ownership and use of guns.

The Center will grow the gun violence prevention capacity of organizations, the general public, and prevention specialists across NJ through training and education. The Center will serve as a mechanism, for connecting state and local policy makers, community-based groups and advocates with the expertise of the university’s faculty. It will seek to actively engage these stakeholders in the production and dissemination of knowledge.


The Center is co-led by the Rutgers School of Public Health, within Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, and the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University–Newark. It will draw on expertise from across the university in fields such as psychology, sociology, medicine, law, nursing, social work, public policy, engineering and others.

Bernadette C. Hohl, PhD, MPH

Center Co-Director

Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences

Michael Ostermann, PhD

Center Co-Director

Associate Professor, School of Criminal Justice, School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University-Newark

Paul Boxer, PhD

Director of Research

Professor of Psychology and Director, Center on Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, Rutgers University, Newark

Michael Gusmano, PhD

Director of Outreach

Associate Professor, Department of Health Behavior, Society and Policy, Rutgers School of Public Health

Elizabeth Sloan-Power, PhD, MSW

Director of Training & Education

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Social Work, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University- Newark

Stephanie L. Bonne, MD

Director of Surveillance

Assistant Professor of Surgery, Director, Hospital Violence Intervention Program (HVIP)


Gun violence remains a public health problem throughout the United States with nearly 100,000 gun-related incidents annually, about one-third of which end in death. Despite having more comprehensive gun laws and fewer deaths than other states, gun violence accounts for an average of 475 deaths and countless more injuries each year in New Jersey. Gun violence results in serious physical, emotional, and social short- and long-term consequences for the individuals involved, but also takes a significant toll on families, peers, neighbors and the broader community. For too long, schools, emergency rooms, courtrooms and municipal services shouldered most of the burden of gun violence with little support for multi-faceted, multi-sectoral, collaborative, and evidence-based solutions. The Center will function as an interdisciplinary organization, partnering with local and regional stakeholders to conduct research in a cross cutting and integrated and collaborative manner to identify ways to move upstream and significantly impact the field of firearm violence prevention and control.

Contact Us

Center on Gun Violence Research
Rutgers School of Public Health
683 Hoes Lane West, Room 128
Piscataway, NJ 08854


The Center on Gun Violence Research works in collaboration with and is supported by New Jersey’s Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE).

(732) 235-9566 |
© 2020 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. All rights reserved.

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