About Kelly K Gurka
Kelly K. Gurka is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology. She earned an MPH at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, after which she served as a maternal and child health epidemiologist in the Alabama Department of Public Health. Dr. Gurka then earned her PhD in epidemiology with an emphasis in injury prevention and control at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; she was the recipient of the 2007 Susan P. Baker Student Paper Prize. Dr. Gurka held faculty positions at the University of Virginia and West Virginia University prior to arriving at the University of Florida.
With funding from agencies including NIH, CDC, NIJ, and HRSA, Dr. Gurka has published research on a range of topics in injury and violence prevention and maternal and child health, including workplace violence, sport-related injury, intimate partner violence, and substance abuse. Her current research includes examining the consequences of substance misuse and abuse and its outcomes including overdose and neonatal abstinence syndrome, particularly related to opioids (including NOWS). Dr. Gurka co-leads the UF site of the HEALthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD) study, a longitudinal cohort study of pregnant individuals and their offspring to examine the impact of in utero exposures, including substances, on the development of children, for which she directs recruitment, retention, and community engagement activities.
In addition, Dr. Gurka is co-principal investigator of the NIDA-funded COVID-19 and Perinatal Experiences (COPE) Study at the University of Florida, an international, multi-site study examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pregnant women. She is also an investigator on the Social Development enhancement study to the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Dr. Gurka recently co-led an NIGMS-funded study examining pregnancy-associated death among Floridians. Dr. Gurka has collaborated on numerous projects with clinical researchers in many of the health sciences including Obstetrics & Gynecology, Nursing, Pediatrics, Pharmacy, and Psychiatry.
Dr. Gurka has taught principles of epidemiology, epidemiologic methods, and injury epidemiology courses and mentored both professional and graduate students. She serves on the Science committee for the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research and is a member of the American Public Health Association, the Society for Epidemiologic Research, and the American Evaluation Association.
Dr. Gurka conducts community-engaged research at the intersection of injury and violence and maternal and child health, particularly mitigating harms associated with substance use and/or the role of violence in the health and well-being of women and children.
- Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology
- Community-Engaged Research
- Harm Reduction
- Injury & Violence Epidemiology