Vice President for Research
Dr. Rebecca Cunningham is vice president for research at the University of Michigan, where she is responsible for fostering the excellence and integrity of research across all three campuses. As vice president, Cunningham leads the Office of the Vice President for Research, whose mission is to catalyze, support and safeguard U-M research and scholarship activity.
Cunningham served as the associate vice president for research-health sciences from 2017-2019, where she oversaw the portfolio of research faculty affairs, and partnered with colleagues across campus to facilitate and energize the university’s research agenda.
Over the course of her career, Cunningham’s research has focused on injury prevention, opioid overdose, substance misuse prevention, firearm injury prevention and public health. As a lead investigator, Cunningham has continuous support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies to identify ways to improve health. She served on the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission, and often provides guidance and expert testimony across multiple levels of government.
In partnership with state and local agencies, Cunningham pioneered an improved, real-time data surveillance system to track opioid overdose cases across Michigan. She secured funding from the Fogarty International Center to develop the university’s Ghana Emergency Medicine Collaborative, which improves the provision of emergency medical care in Ghana through innovative and sustainable physician, nursing and medical student training programs.
Cunningham is the former Director of the U-M Injury Prevention Center, one of ten U.S. injury control research centers funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address urgent injury issues through research, education and outreach. She also leads a consortium of 25 researchers across 12 universities and health systems that aim to improve firearms safety through an injury prevention approach. The Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens Consortium represented a historic funding commitment from the National Institutes of Health to reduce firearm injury.
Cunningham served as Associate Chair for Research for the U-M Department of Emergency Medicine, where she oversaw and aided in the development of research portfolios of more than 100 faculty. She is the William G. Barsan Collegiate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the U-M Medical School, as well as Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the U-M School of Public Health.
In 2019, Cunningham was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the highest honorary society in the U.S. for researchers in medicine and health. The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine and the American College of Emergency Physicians both awarded Cunningham with Excellence in Research Awards in 2019.
Dr. Rebecca Cunningham is vice president for research at the University of Michigan, where she is responsible for fostering the excellence and integrity of research across all three campuses.
She has vast experience as a researcher, administrator, educator and clinician, including more than 20 years spent as an emergency medicine physician at U-M and Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan.
Cunningham’s career has focused on injury prevention, opioid overdose, substance misuse prevention, firearm injury prevention and public health.
She is the former Director of the U-M Injury Prevention Center, established a national consortium to improve firearms safety, served as associate vice president for research-health sciences and is the former associate chair for research for the U-M Department of Emergency Medicine.