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Rebecca Cunningham

Interim Vice President for Research

Dr. Rebecca Cunningham is the interim 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 interim vice president, Cunningham leads the Office of Research, whose mission is to catalyze, support and safeguard U-M research.

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, Mich.

Cunningham has served as the associate vice president for research-health sciences since 2017, where she oversees the portfolio of research faculty affairs, and partners 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 and public health. As a lead investigator, Cunningham has secured more than $50 million in continuous support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies to identify ways to improve health services. Cunningham has authored or co-authored more than 170 scholarly publications and a book, and she works to translate her research for greater societal impact. 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 and lead 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 directs 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 represents the largest funding commitment in 20 years from the National Institutes of Health to reduce firearm injury.

Cunningham served as research chair 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 a professor of health behavior and health education at the U-M School of Public Health.

In 2019, the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine awarded Cunningham with its Excellence in Research Award.


Abbreviated Biography

Dr. Rebecca Cunningham is the interim 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, Mich.

Cunningham has secured more than $50 million in federal research funding, and she has authored or co-authored more than 170 scholarly publications that focus on injury prevention, opioid overdose, substance misuse prevention and public health.

She directs 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 research chair for the U-M Department of Emergency Medicine.


 

Research Team Assignment: Leadership Team

Office of the Vice President for Research 
4080 Fleming Building 
Ann Arbor MI 48109-1340

Assistant: Karen Houghtaling, manager of OVPR administration and senior executive assistant, 734-936-2680, houghtak@umich.edu