School of Public Health

Rowhani-Rahbar appointed Bartley Dobb Professor

UW Epi News
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Friday, March 30, 2018

Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, has been selected to receive the Bartley Dobb Professorship for Study and Prevention of Violence, effective July 1, 2018. Established in 1997, this five-year endowment funds an appointed University of Washington (UW) faculty member for their work in the study and prevention of violence through resolution of conflict.
 
“I am honored and thrilled,” said Rowhani-Rahbar, who is also the Violence Prevention Section Lead at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center. “This professorship catalyzes our scholarship to study violence and enables us to design and evaluate new violence prevention programs. It provides invaluable support for our work to reduce the heavy burden of violence in our society.”     
 
Rowhani-Rahbar focuses his research on the epidemiology of violence, which has included studies on safe firearm storage, firearm access in relation to mental disorders and suicide risk, the well-being of gunshot wound victims, and the impacts of crime and trauma on health. Rowhani-Rahbar is currently leading several studies to further his research on inter-personal and self-directed violence. Through his research, Rowhani-Rahbar aims to identify effective public health and policy interventions that will increase the safety and health of the public.
 
"Dr. Rowhani-Rahbar has dedicated his research to the study and prevention of violence - a very critical and important societal issue we face domestically and abroad,” said Steve Hawes, Chair of the Department of Epidemiology. “Through his years of research on the topic of gun violence, he is a unique visionary in the field. Endowments such as these support the critical research of the department; it will help support Dr. Rowhani-Rahbar's work as he continues to tackle these societal challenges."
 
Over the years, Rowhani-Rahbar’s research has had an impact locally and nationally. Following the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, Seattle became the first city in the nation to fund gun violence research. The studies conducted by Rowhani-Rahbar and his colleagues based on those funds served as an impetus for designing and evaluating a new program led by him to prevent subsequent crime and injury among gunshot wound victims. This is the only study of its kind in the country. Rowhani-Rahbar’s work on suicide means restriction has been cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Government Accountability Office, and informed programs that promote safe firearm storage.
 
Rowhani-Rahbar is the third professor to hold this honor. Previous holders of the endowed professorship are Carolyn West, a professor of psychology at UW Tacoma, and Richard Catalano, a professor of social work.
 
The late Bartley Dobb was a longtime member of the UW community. He first enrolled at the UW in 1942 to get a bachelor’s degree in political science. Since then, Dobb received a total of four degrees from the university and served the University for 41 years as a librarian. He also taught political science and history at the UW and the Bellevue and Seattle Community Colleges.