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Dawn Comstock, PhD


​Research Interests

Dr. Comstock’s research focus is the epidemiology of injury among the physically active, specifically the study of sports, recreation, and leisure activity-related injuries among children and adolescents as well as the life-long health benefits associated with an active childhood. Dr. Comstock believes that to combat the epidemic of obesity in our country children must be encouraged to get up off the couch and participate in physically active sports, recreation, and leisure activities. However, a certain endemic level of injury can be expected in any physical activity. The challenge is to monitor injury trends through surveillance; to investigate the etiology of preventable injuries; to develop, implement, and evaluate protective interventions; and to responsibly report epidemiologic findings of injury research while promoting a physically active lifestyle for children and adolescents. 

In 2014, Dr. Comstock was one of five experts invited by the White House to speak at the Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit to address the growing risk of concussions in adolescent sports. In 2017, she accepted an invitation to serve on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). The board advises the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Director of the CDC, and the Director of NCIPC about surveillance, basic epidemiologic research, intervention research, and implementation, dissemination, and evaluation of promising and evidence-based strategies for the prevention of injury and violence.


After receiving a B.S. degree in microbiology from Colorado State University and a M.S. degree in epidemiology from the University of Iowa, Dr. Comstock obtained a PhD in Public Health Epidemiology from the University of California San Diego/San Diego State University. She has previously worked with the Iowa Department of Public Health in Des Moines, Iowa, with the Naval Health Research Center in Point Loma, Calif., with the Environmental Health Services Branch of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta, and as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer assigned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a liaison to the Oklahoma State Department of Health Injury Prevention Service. Before joining the Colorado School of Public Health and the Pediatric Injury Prevention, Education, and Research (PIPER) program, Dr. Comstock was at Ohio State University and the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Colorado School of Public Health

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