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NIOSH Nominates Exemplary Studies for 2007 CDC Science Award

NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 401-3749
February 28, 2007

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) nominated nine outstanding studies by NIOSH researchers for a prestigious scientific award for 2007. NIOSH also submitted one nomination for the award's lifetime scientific achievement category.

The 2007 Charles C. Shepard Science Award is sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of which NIOSH is a part. The award honors excellence in science at CDC during the year 2006; the winners will be announced in June 2007.

"As the workplace changes, and with it the features of the workplace or the aspects of the job that may pose a risk for occupational injuries and illnesses, it is critical for NIOSH to continue to lead the way with new research," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. "These nominees demonstrate NIOSH's commitment to leading the effort in understanding and preventing occupational hazards."

The studies NIOSH nominated were published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The nine papers were nominated in the categories of Laboratory and Methods; Prevention and Control; and Assessment and Epidemiology.

NIOSH nominated six studies under the Laboratory and Methods categories. The nominees' studies:

  • Tested a new field-portable method for detecting beryllium that is not only more cost-effective than current methods, but also allows for immediate action to protect workers who are exposed.
  • Developed and evaluated an innovative field test that quickly determines if anthrax antibodies are in a person's body, a potentially valuable tool in emergency situations when there would be a need to rapidly test a large number of blood samples for anthrax.
  • Demonstrated the potential for a naturally occurring compound, cyaniding-3-glucoside (C3G), which is found in blackberries and other foods, to assist in preventing and treating certain types of cancers.
  • Assessed the ability of proposed prediction models to accurately predict the clinical outcome for lung adenocarcinoma patients, which may lead to more individualized treatment that may significantly increase the chances of survival for the patient.
  • Established methods for quantitatively assessing risk of occupational exposures to fine and ultrafine particles that provide a sound scientific basis for evaluating workers' potential risks of exposure to engineered nanoparticles.
  • Discovered that tumor necrosis factor (TNF), known to be a causal factor for brain disease resulting from trauma and chemical exposures, may actually play a protective role for such exposures in other areas of the brain.

Two NIOSH studies were nominated in the Prevention and Control category that:

  • Tested a new, more precise method for measuring excessive decline in an individual's lung function that better detects problems with lung function, allowing for more immediate action to be taken to protect workers from hazardous exposures.
  • Assessed the fitting characteristics of three types of respirators, evaluating the level of protection offered by each and the value fit-testing added to improving the level of protection from N95 respirators, establishing that fit-testing plays a critical role in improving wearer protection.

Under the category of Assessment and Epidemiology, NIOSH had one nominated article that:

  • Conducted follow-up on a group of bridge welders to determine the long-term neurological effects of continuous exposure to manganese at levels close to the Cal- OSHA permissible exposure limits.

NIOSH also nominated Lewis V. Wade, Ph.D., for the lifetime scientific achievement award to recognize his distinguished 30-year career of scientific research, application, and leadership in occupational safety and health. Dr. Wade currently serves as the Senior Science Advisor to the Office of the Director. During his career with NIOSH, Dr. Wade has improved the safety and health of mine workers, assumed key roles of scientific leadership, and helped to guide research at the Pittsburgh and Spokane Research Laboratories. He has been awarded two Presidential Rank Awards for Meritorious Service with the Senior Executive Service and a Presidential Design Award for the Mine Roof Simulator. In 2006 he received the Donald S. Kingery Memorial Award for his career contributions to mining safety and health.

The NIOSH nominations appear on the NIOSH web page at www.cdc.gov/niosh/shepard/ . For further information about NIOSH research and recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths, call the call toll-free 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or visit the NIOSH Web site at www.cdc.gov/niosh/.

 
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