Skip to content

Researcher of the Quarter- Dr. David Chen, MD, MPH

Dr. David Chen, MD, MPH, is a CTR ACCEL Program Mentored Research Development Award recipient and Community Engaged Clinical and Translational Pilot Awardee. He is researching the impact of personal and community violence on the health and quality of life on exposed individuals. Dr. Chen lived in the north side of Wilmington city while he attended residency at Christiana Hospital and saw first-hand the need for advocacy and research related to Community Violence Exposure (CVE).

CVE has been related to a range of poor mental and physical health outcomes, with emerging research showing specific negative causal impacts on general medical conditions such as asthma. However, prior research has been limited due to differing definitions of CVE, a lack of consistency in describing dimensionality in conceptualizations, and a focus on children and adolescents. The diverse nature of CVE incidents and impacts on psychometrics makes it even more difficult to study this relationship in variable-centric fashion.

In 2017, Dr. Chen administered the Participatory Action Research Health Survey to communities in Wilmington that experience high levels of violence. Dr. Chen utilized a Latent Class Analysis to interpret this data. Dr. Chen is currently researching the Community Engaged Interpretation by using six focus groups from January 2020 to May 2020. Dr. Chen remarked, “My research is intended to help eliminate the health disparity in victims of violence compared to other forms of traumatic injury. I am so grateful to the DE-CTR for the avenue that has been made possible in this important, yet rare, research.”

Dr. Chen said he has benefited greatly from the Junior Investigators Network by attending training sessions, using the JIN toolbox, and having mentorship from Dr.Robert Akins as well as Dr. LeRoi Hicks. He has also been involved with the Community Engaged Outreach Core and is a participant in the Community Advisory Council. “The mission of DE-CTR ACCEL Program and, in particular, the Community Engaged Outreach Core, has permitted a pathway of giving the community a voice and helping them articulate and understand the things that they feel have an impact on their daily lives.”

Dr. Chen plans to continue this important research, while also working as an Internal Medicine and Pediatric Physician at Christiana Care Hospital. If you have more questions or would like to find out more about this research, contact Dr. Chen at