N.J. Center on Gun Violence Research inks Anestis as its executive director

The New Jersey Center on Gun Violence Research at Rutgers University announced recently it has named Michael Anestis, a public health psychologist and expert on firearms and suicide risk, as its executive director.

Anestis, who currently serves as an associate professor of psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi and the director of the Suicide and Emotion Dysregulation Laboratory, will take over the role in July.

The center, which is supported by the New Jersey Office of the Secretary for Higher Education and housed at Rutgers School of Public Health, provides research, education and advocacy to address the needs of the community.

“The Center on Gun Violence Research, which is one of the first such centers in the country, is excited to welcome Michael Anestis, whose expertise will navigate the multifaceted drivers of gun violence,” Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, said. “He, along with his colleagues at Rutgers, has unparalleled experience to deliver insights that inform public policies and prevent the tragedies that have become all too common in American society.”

Anestis said Rutgers is positioned to become a national leader on gun violence prevention in part because the state has been committed to funding and supporting research on it.

“Homicide, suicide and unintentional deaths by firearm will all be proportionally represented in our work as we seek to dramatically decrease the number of Americans impacted by gun violence each year. Drawing on the university’s expertise in public health, criminal justice, psychology, sociology, medicine, law, nursing, social work, public policy and engineering, the center will continue to focus on meaningful work with and for the communities it seeks to serve,” Anestis said.