M. Kit Delgado, M.D., M.S.

M. Kit Delgado, MD, MS, is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Epidemiology and a practicing trauma center emergency physician. He leads the Behavioral Science & Analytics For Injury Reduction (BeSAFIR) lab, which applies data science and behavioral economics for preventing injuries and for improving acute care. BeSAFIR has three complementary lines of research:

1) Development and testing of interventions for preventing motor vehicle crashes from distracted and alcohol-impaired driving by leveraging smartphone technology and insights from behavioral economics. This work includes partnerships with large U.S. auto-insurers.

2) Development and testing of health system interventions for promoting opioid stewardship for acute pain management and for facilitating the treatment of patients with opioid use disorder in the emergency department. Dr. Delgado is Co-Chair of the University Pennsylvania Health System Opioid Task Force.

3) Analysis of large state and national datasets of emergency department encounters to elucidate opportunities to improve emergency and trauma care and to prevent injuries.

Dr. Delgado's work is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality.  He is a Senior Scholar in the Center Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB), a Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) Senior Fellow, and a faculty member in the Center for Emergency Care Policy and Research (CECPR), the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE), the Penn Injury Science Center (PISC), and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP). He currently serves on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Committee on Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Acute Pain. He has previously served as a member of the NASEM Committee on Accelerating Progress to Reduce Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities. He received his M.D. from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons and his M.S. in Health Services Research from Stanford University.

See Dr. Delgado's Penn Medicine Faculty Page for more information and recent publications. 



Jeff Ebert, PhD – Senior Research Investigator

Jeff completed his doctorate in Social Psychology at Harvard University in 2008. Earlier at Swarthmore College, he majored in Psychology and minored in Computer Science. He has published in leading journals on diverse topics, including self-control, perceptions of agency, and implicit bias. Prior to joining BeSAFIR, he served as the Research Lead for an international consulting startup. There, he developed bite-size, psychology-based interventions for an app that helped leaders and teams build self-awareness and create new and better habits. In the BeSAFIR lab, he assists with the design and messaging of large trials and health system interventions intended to save lives by promoting lasting behavior change. In his free time, Jeff enjoys running, climbing, cooking, and crafting herbal elixirs.


Deena Chisholm, MPH, CHES - Research Project Manager

Deena completed her Master’s in Public Health at West Chester University in 2016. Additionally, she was inducted into the Beta Xi Chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society of Public Health and became certified as a Health Education Specialist by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. Deena is experienced in developing and implementing community health education, tools, programs and interventions that promote engagement, optimal health & wellness. Prior to joining the BeSAFIR lab, she spent over a decade in Delaware’s largest health care system in various research and program manager roles. Deena’s research interests lie in population health and participatory action research. In her spare time she enjoys reading, comedy, traveling, trying new foods and cardio kickboxing. 


Jessie Hemmons, MS - Research Operations Manager

Jessie completed her Master of Science in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, PA. She has experience in both research and clinical settings. She started her career at the University of Pennsylvania coordinating trials in Neuropsychiatry. She then traveled the country and worked as a mental health clinician for adolescents in Oakland, CA and spent some valuable time living in New Orleans, LA. She returned to the University of Pennsylvania in 2015 and has since worked on trials in addiction, radiation oncology, and public health. Outside of coordinator work, she is a professional artist. Her artwork has been shown at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and used in advertising for Proctor and Gamble, Free People, Target, and Lyft. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Time Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and her personal favorite: an episode of Radio Times on WHYY.


Dina Abdel-Rahman, BS - Research Project Manager

Dina Abdel-Rahman received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Drexel University in June 2017. She began working as a Research Assistant for Dr. Delgado in March of 2016 as a Drexel Co-op, before being hired part-time and then becoming a full-time Clinical Research Coordinator, focusing on Kit’s distracted driving and alcohol studies. She was also a 2016 Humanities Fellow at Drexel University, and her fields of interest focus on social psychology of immigrants, refugees, and exiles, and understanding how identity is developed and transformed across borders. In her free time she likes to travel and longboard.


Evan Spencer, BS - Research Project Manager

Evan Spencer is a graduate of Drexel University. She has a BS in Psychology. She primarily works on research that involves reducing opioid misuse and drinking and driving injuries. When out of the office, she is pursuing a Master's Degree in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania. In the past she worked in counseling and behavioral health at Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment where she did recreational therapy and facilitated group therapy sessions with an array of people getting treatment for varying behavioral health disorders. Her interests include behavioral analysis and she wants to study criminal pathology. For this reason she enjoys all crime related TV series and movies such as Criminal Minds and Silence of the Lambs. In the future she hopes to pursue a career in Forensic Psychology and work for the Behavioral Analysis Unit and the FBI.


Ruiying (Aria) Xiong, MS – Data Analyst

Aria provides analytical support to the research team using statistical programming tools such as R and SAS. She received her Master of Science degrees in Statistics and Nutritional Sciences from Rutgers University - New Brunswick in May 2018 and her thesis project focused on statistical analysis for behavioral intervention programs aimed at preventing childhood obesity. She grew up in Guiyang, Guizhou, China and lived in New Jersey for five years before moving to Philly. In her spare time, Aria enjoys exploring restaurants, visiting museums, and taking fitness classes such as Body Combat. She also plays the piano and the flute.

Faculty Collaborators

Post-doctoral fellows (Past and Present

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Elena Andreyeva, PhD

Edouard Coupet, MD

Elinore Kauffman, MD, MSHP

Maggie Lowenstein, MD, MPHIL

Chris Morrison, PhD, MPH

Ben Ukert, PhD

Jessica Wall, MD

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center for studies in addiction

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