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UW epidemiology professor Ali Rowhani-Rahbar elected to National Academy of Medicine

UW News | October 9, 2023
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Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, a professor of epidemiology and of pediatrics at the University of Washington (UW), has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine in recognition of research that has “deepened our understanding of the risk and consequences of firearm-related harm,” the organization announced on October 9, 2023.  

Ali Rowhani-Rahbar headshot
Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, University of Washington

Among the most prestigious scientific organizations in the country, the Academy recognizes excellence in the fields of health and medicine, along with a commitment to volunteer service. 

Rowhani-Rahbar is the Bartley Dobb Professor for the Prevention of Violence and interim director of the Firearm Injury & Policy Research Program in the UW School of Medicine. His work integrates data from healthcare and criminal justice systems to better understand risk factors related to gun violence and injury. That research has informed policies and programs aimed at reducing the risk of firearm-related harm, particularly in underserved and overlooked communities. 

“I am deeply honored and truly grateful for this recognition,” Rowhani-Rahbar said. “It is remarkable to join such a distinguished group of national thought-leaders who have made immense contributions to promoting health and advancing knowledge through superb scientific inquiry and rigorous debate. 

“Firearm-related harm is one of the most pressing public health and public safety challenges of our time. Collectively, we need robust investments, scientific expertise from across different disciplines, and authentic partnership with our communities to drastically reduce its devastating burden. I look forward to continuing to contribute to those efforts.”  

Rowhani-Rahbar is one of 100 new members elected to the Academy this year. He is the fifth UW faculty member elected to the Academy in the past four years. 

“This is a tremendous and well-deserved honor,” UW Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Tricia Serio said. “Dr. Rowhani-Rahbar is a strong, visionary leader in this vital field, and his commitment to uplifting communities and preventing gun violence is a perfect example of the impact we strive for at the University of Washington.”  

“Dr. Rowhani-Rahbar’s election to the National Academy of Medicine is a testament to his outstanding work and unwavering commitment to preventing firearm violence,” said Hilary Godwin, dean of the UW School of Public Health. “At a time when it is easy to despair about how gun violence is shattering lives, families and communities, Ali’s work provides empirical evidence for concrete strategies to prevent this suffering. Ali’s accomplishments not only honor our institution but also remind us of the vital role public health can and should play in addressing complex issues.” 

Rowhani-Rahbar holds a doctorate in epidemiology from the UW. He previously earned a master’s in public health from Yale University and a medical degree from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Mashhad, Iran.  

He joined the UW faculty as a professor of epidemiology in 2012. He’d been teaching for only a few months when the Sandy Hook mass shooting rattled the nation, prompting Rowhani-Rahbar to immediately shift his research to focus on firearm violence and the prevention of gun-related harm.  

For more information, contact Rowhani-Rahbar at