Kelly K Gurka

Kelly K Gurka

Assistant Professor Of Epidemiology

Business Phone: (352) 273-5362
Business Email:

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 the NIH, CDC, NIJ, and HRSA, Dr. Gurka has published research on a range of topics including maternal and child health, workplace violence, sport-related injury and substance abuse. Her current research interests include the consequences of substance misuse and abuse and its outcomes including fatal overdose and neonatal abstinence syndrome, particularly related to opioids. Dr. Gurka is the co-principal investigator for the 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 an investigator on the Florida-DECADE study, a planning grant for studying the impact of substance use during pregnancy on the development of children through age 10 years, for which she leads community engagement. Dr. Gurka is also an investigator on the Social Development auxillary study to the parent ABCD Study. Dr. Gurka has collaborated on numerous projects with clinical researchers in many of the health sciences including Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pharmacy, and Nursing.

Dr. Gurka has taught epidemiology and injury prevention 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.


ATRN Scholar
2014 · Appalachian Translational Research Network
Susan P. Baker Student Paper Prize
2007 · Injury Prevention Research Center, UNC-Chapel Hill
Excellence in Diversity Fellow
2007 · University of Virginia
Pre-Doctoral Training Fellow
2006-2007 · US Public Health Service
Doris Buffet Scholarship for the Prevention of Violence Against Women
2003 · Doris Buffet Foundation
Pre-Doctoral Training Fellow
2002-2006 · National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Research Profile

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)


Areas of Interest
  • Injury Epidemiology
  • Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology
  • Substance Use Epidemiology, particularly opioids
  • Consequences of substance use, including overdose and neonatal abstinence syndrome
  • Impact of SARS-CoV-2 on pregnant women, especially vulnerable populations such as women with SUD
  • Impact of health policy related to prescribing practices


Nov 2019 ACTIVE
Improving Lactation Success in Mothers of Critically Infants Using Personalized Real-Time Biomarker Based Text Messages
Sep 2019 ACTIVE
Florida Development in Early Childhood: Adversity and Drug Exposure (FL-DECADE) Study
Jul 2019 – Jun 2020
FL ALCOHOL & DRUG ABUSE ASSO · Principal Investigator
Sep 2018 – Aug 2019
Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States (CE15-1501) Year 4
WEST VIRGINIA UNIV RES CORP · Principal Investigator
Jul 2018 ACTIVE
ABCD – Social Development Study
Sep 2017 – Aug 2018
Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States
WEST VIRGINIA UNIV RES CORP · Principal Investigator
Mar 2016 – Aug 2017
Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States (CE15-1501)
WEST VIRGINIA UNIV RES CORP · Principal Investigator
Nov 2015 – Feb 2016
Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention: Boost for State P
WEST VIRGINIA UNIV RES CORP · Principal Investigator


PhD in Epidemiology
2007 · University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
MPH in Epidemiology
1999 · University of Alabama at Birmingham

Contact Details

(352) 273-5362