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Carol Runyan, MPH, PhD

Director of Program for Injury Prevention, Education and Research (PIPER) and Professor


Carol W. Runyan, MPH, PhD is trained in public health behavior, epidemiology and social policy. She co-founded and directed the University of North Carolina Injury Prevention Research Center for 22 years while on the faculty at the UNC School of Public Health. In 2011, she joined the faculty at the Colorado School of Public Health. 

She has conducted research on young worker safety, traffic safety, safety at home, youth violence, child maltreatment, and suicide prevention. She was honored in 2012 by CDC as one of the 20 most influential leaders in the field of injury control in 20 years and received a Distinguished Career Award from the American Public Health Association in 2014.

Dr. Runyan has taught foundational principles of public health as well as courses on injury and violence prevention, and proposal writing.  

Currently, her research and evaluation projects include an intervention study of lethal means counseling in the emergency department setting, evaluation of prescription drug overdose prevention. In addition, she participates in leading a national learning collaborative on chlld maltreatment prevention and teaches an ongoing summer course on child maltreatment prevention. In addition, she serves as a liaison between the School of Public Health and the Center for Bioethics and Humanities.

Starting in Fall 2018, Dr. Runyan began phased retirement. She lives in North Carolina and telecommutes.

Research Interests  

  • Injury epidemiology and prevention
  • Suicide
  • Violence
  • Occupational epidemiology
 Current Research Projects
  • ​Lethal means counseling for suicide prevention
  • Evaluation of prescription drug overdose strategies


  • Bachelor of Arts, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN (1972) 
  • Masters of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (1975)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (1983)
  • Post-doctoral fellowship, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (1986)


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