Eastern Michigan University professor receives prestigious grant to reduce firearm violence from the National Institutes of Health

Tsu-Yin Wu wearing a bright pink top, stands in front of the Student Center fountain on a sunny day.

YPSILANTI — According to a recent study conducted by Eastern Michigan University and The Center for Health Disparities Innovation and Studies (CHDIS), racism during the pandemic was associated with an increase in firearm ownership and carrying by Asian Americans, putting them at a higher risk of firearm injury.  To better understand this public health problem, EMU professor Tsu-Yin Wu received a multimillion-dollar grant over five years from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to work with Asian Americans in several communities across the state on interventions against gun use. 

Wu, along with CHDIS, will employ both Geographic Information Systems and photovoice approaches to engage communities in identifying multi-level risks and protective factors for firearm-related violence. Using this information, the team will develop, implement, and evaluate an intervention to decrease risk and advance health equity through a randomized clinical trial. 

Wu expects the project will provide a solid understanding of the development and testing of intervention strategies aimed at preventing firearm violence among Asian Americans. “Due to the urgency related to firearm injuries and mortality, it is extremely important that we take action upstream,” said Wu. Our study will focus on prevention efforts with modifiable factors that place individuals at greater risk of involvement in firearm-related violence.”

The basis for this research stems from data reported by Wu’s recent studies that racism and discrimination experienced by Asian Americans were linked to their increased firearm purchase during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study’s key findings include:

The study will work closely with Asian Communities toward Innovative Visionary Environment (ACTIVE) Coalition, representing diverse sectors, including healthcare, advocacy, and government, to address topics of mutual concern and recommendations for engaging stakeholders in firearm violence prevention research. If tested and shown effective, the study intervention can potentially adapt to other settings.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports scientific research to develop, evaluate, and implement effective public health interventions to understand better and prevent violence, including firearm violence and the resulting trauma, injuries, and mortality. For more information about NIH research and training grants, visit the website.  


About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 13,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

January 10, 2024

Written by:
Melissa Thrasher

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher