Expanding Research Partnerships Webinar Series

Expanding Research Partnerships Webinar Series logo 2019

This webinar series aims to promote the work of innovative and impactful intramural and extramural research partnerships. The theme of the 2019 series is emerging issues in occupational safety and health and will feature three webinars.

free screanings
Webinar Dates Times Topics
April 10, 2019 12:00pm – 1:30pm (Eastern Time) Robotics and Workplace Safety and Health
June 12, 2019 12:00pm – 1:30pm (Eastern Time) Occupational Safety and Health Issues of Emerging Technologies
September 18, 2019 12:00pm – 1:30pm (Eastern Time) An Expanded Focus for Occupational Safety and Health

Below you will find registration information for upcoming webinars a few weeks before each event. You can also access the webinar recordings for on-demand viewing on this webpage a few weeks after the webinar.

Learning Objectives

The series aims to inform and engage webinar attendees on NIOSH-funded intramural and extramural research to:

  • Increase awareness of the topic areas being addressed by NIOSH-funded research and knowledge of areas where new research partnerships can be developed.
  • Enhance and expand intramural and extramural partnership in occupational safety and health research.

Upcoming Webinars: September 18, 2019


On Wednesday, September 18, 2019, we kick off the final installment of the 2019 Expanding Research Partnerships Webinar Series. We feature exciting topics on an expanded focus for occupational safety and health.

Towards An Expanded Focus for Occupational Safety and Health
Presenter: Paul A. Schulte, Ph.D, NIOSH Director of the Division of Science Integration

The Expanded Focus for Occupational Safety and Health (OSH): Implications for Research and Training of OSH Professionals
Presenter: George Delclos, MD, MPH, PhD, Professor, University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health

NOTE: You MUST pre-register to attend these webinars.  Please click on the registration link below and follow the prompts to complete your registration.  You will receive a confirmation email and link to the actual webinar.

Register Hereexternal icon

Featured Speakers

Presentation Date: September 18, 2019

Paul A. Schulte, PhD

Paul A. Schulte, PhD – NIOSH
Dr. Paul Schulte is the Director of the Division of Science Integration and Co-Manager of the Nanotechnology Research Center at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Schulte has 40 years of experience in conducting research and developing guidance on occupational cancer, nanomaterials, risk communication, workplace well-being, and genetics. He also has examined the convergence of occupational safety and health and green chemistry and sustainability. He is the co-editor of the textbook, Molecular Epidemiology: Principles and Practices. Dr. Schulte has served as guest editor of the Journal of Occupational Medicine and the American Journal of Industrial Medicine and was on the initial editorial board of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.  He is currently on the International Advisory Board of the Annals of Occupational Hygiene. Dr. Schulte has developed various frameworks for addressing the aging workforce, burden of occupational disease and injury, well-being of the workforce, and translation research and synthetic biology and occupational risk.

George Delclos, MD, MPH, PhD

George Delclos, MD, MPH, PhD – University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health

Dr. George Delclos is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of the University of Texas System and a faculty member in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston. He also serves as Deputy Director of the NIOSH-supported Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health Education and Research Centerexternal icon. Dr. Delclos obtained his medical degree from the University of Barcelona in 1981 and completed residency training in internal medicine and pulmonary diseases at the Baylor College of Medicine. He has a Masters of Public Health degree from the University of Texas School of Public Health and a Ph.D. in Health and Life Sciences from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, and he is board-certified in internal medicine, pulmonary diseases and occupational medicine.  Dr. Delclos’ current areas of research focus include: a) occupational and environmental asthma (epidemiological and clinical aspects with an emphasis on healthcare workers and cleaners); b) national surveys of working conditions, employment and health; and c) determinants of sickness absence, presenteeism and disability.

Past Webinars

Occupational Safety and Health Issues of Emerging Technologies: June 12, 2019
Presentation Materials

Webinar Slidesppt icon – Now Available;
Recording: Archived presentationexternal icon– Now Available

On Wednesday, June 12, the second installment of the 2019 Expanding Research Partnerships Webinar Series featured exciting topics on occupational safety and health issues of emerging technologies.

The NIOSH Advanced Manufacturing Initiative: Collaborative Research in Support of the Future of Work
Presenter: Charles Geraci, PhD, CIH, FAIHA, NIOSH Associate Director for Emerging Technologies

Partnership to Advance Research and Guidance for Occupational Safety and Health in Nanotechnology
Presenter: Nicole M. Neu-Baker, MPH, CPH, Research Associate for NanoHealth Initiatives, SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Featured Speakers

Presentation Date: June 12, 2019

Juliann Scholl, PhD

Charles Geraci, PhD, CIH, FAIHA  – NIOSH

Dr. Charles Geraci is the NIOSH Associate Director for Emerging Technologies where he leads the Nanotechnology Research Center, Advanced Manufacturing Initiative, and new Emerging Technologies Program. He has practiced multiple aspects of Industrial Hygiene for more than 43 years in both the public and private sectors, including two tours at NIOSH and serving as Associate Director for HS&E (Health, Safety and Environmental) at the Procter & Gamble Company. Dr. Geraci earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Michigan State University. He is an American Board of Industrial Hygiene Certified Industrial Hygienist and is a Fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). Dr. Geraci earned national and international recognition for his scientific leadership in the field and for his ability to translate complex scientific issues into practical guidance for worker protection, earning him the NIOSH Distinguished Career Scientist status in 2017. He serves as a subject matter expert on various national and international panels and advisory boards, including representing NIOSH on the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative and the White House OSTP Sub-Committee on Advanced Manufacturing. Additional accomplishments include the 2019 Henry Smyth, Jr. Award from the AIHA, the 2018 Jeffrey Lee Lecture Award from the Foundation for Occupational Health and Safety and the 2015 Edward J. Baier Technical Achievement Award from the AIHA.


Nicole M. Neu-Baker, MPH, CPH, Research Associate for NanoHealth Initiatives, SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Nicole Neu-Baker is a Research Associate for NanoHealth Initiatives at the State University of New York (SUNY) Polytechnic Institute, Colleges of Nanoscale Science & Engineering in Albany, NY, and she is an assignee to NIOSH. At SUNY Polytechnic Institute, she coordinates a research portfolio focused on occupational and environmental health and safety and conducts field and laboratory-based research in occupational health, exposure assessment, and nanotoxicology with regard to engineered nanomaterials currently used by the nanoelectronics industry. Since 2014, Ms. Neu-Baker has been on assignment to NIOSH addressing high-priority occupational health and safety needs for the nanotechnology workforce. From 2014-2018, her main focus was on developing and evaluating new identification and characterization methods for engineered nanomaterials found in the workplace, using enhanced darkfield microscopy and hyperspectral imaging. Since 2018, she has been compiling and summarizing NIOSH Field Studies Team data from historical nano-specific exposure assessments for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, she is evaluating the suitability of existing global regulatory, non-regulatory, and other nano-specific models for occupational exposure assessment of manufactured nanomaterials. Ms. Neu-Baker has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Neuroscience from Ithaca College and a Masters of Public Health, with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences, from the University at Albany School of Public Health. Prior to joining the Nanobioscience Constellation at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, she conducted occupational and environmental neurotoxicology research at the Wadsworth Center (New York State Department of Health).

Robotics and Workplace Safety and Health: April 10, 2019
Presentation Materials:

Recording: Archived presentationexternal icon– Now Available

On Wednesday, April 10, the first installment of the 2019 Expanding Research Partnerships Webinar Series featured exciting topics on robotics and workplace safety and health.

Looking to the Future: Occupational Robotics Safety and Health Research at NIOSH
Presenter: Dawn Castillo, MPH, Director, NIOSH Division of Safety Research

Potential Ergonomic Benefits of Personal Collaborative Robots in Strawberry Harvesting
Presenter: Fadi Fathallah, PhD, Associate Vice Provost of Global Affairs, University of California, Davis

Probabilistic Posture Modeling Enhances the Ergonomics and Safety of Human-Robot Collaborations
Presenter: Andrew Merryweather, PhD, Director, University of Utah Ergonomics and Safety Program

Featured Speakers

Presentation Date: April 10, 2019

Dawn Castillo, MPH – NIOSH

Dawn Castillo is the Director of the Division of Safety Research at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This Division serves as the focal point for traumatic occupational injury research and prevention programs at NIOSH. Ms. Castillo began her career at NIOSH in 1991 as an epidemiologist. Between 1998 and 2011, she served as Chief of a Division Branch responsible for occupational injury data collection, analysis and interpretation. In 2000, she was the fourth recipient of the James. P. Keogh award, an annual NIOSH award recognizing a current or former employee for exceptional service to the field of occupational safety and health. Ms. Castillo was appointed as Director of the Division of Safety Research in July 2011. She manages two NIOSH research programs, and co-chairs affiliated National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Councils for Traumatic Injury Prevention and, Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities.  She also manages the new NIOSH Center for Occupational Robotics Research.

Ms. Castillo has authored numerous articles, book chapters, and technical documents on a variety of occupational injury topics, including occupational injuries among young workers, older workers, fire fighters, and workplace violence. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of California, Irvine and her Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Fadi Fathallah, PhD – University of California, Davis

Dr. Fathallah is a Professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and is Associate Vice Provost of Global Affairs at the University of California (UC), Davis. Dr. Fathallah has more than 30 years of experience conducting studies on workers in various industries, including farmworkers in the past two decades. He directs the UC Agricultural Ergonomics Research Center and its Occupational Biomechanics Laboratory, and he is Associate Director of the NIOSH-supported Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safetyexternal icon.

His research focuses on the development and evaluation of interventions to help reduce musculoskeletal disorders among farmworkers, especially those who perform prolonged bending (stooped) postures in the harvesting and cultivation of many fresh fruits and vegetables. Dr. Fathallah also directs the USDA California AgrAbility Program, which provides assistance to disabled California farmers, farmworkers, and their families.  He received a Bachelor of Science from Texas Tech University, Masters of Science from Virginia Tech and Ph.D. from Ohio State University, all in industrial engineering.

Andrew Merryweather, PhD – University of Utah

Dr. Merryweather is Director of the Ergonomics and Safety Program at the University of Utahexternal icon and Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the departments of Family and Preventative Medicine and Physical Therapy and Athletic Training at University of Utah. Dr. Merryweather teaches and directs research in the areas of biomechanics, human factors, musculoskeletal injury prevention and human-system modeling. NIOSH also recently developed a video featuring his work on preventing robot-related worker injuries. Dr. Merryweather obtained his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah in 2008, as a NIOSH Education and Research Centerexternal icon trainee in Occupational Injury Prevention.

Over the past decade, he has managed significant research projects investigating musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace, assistive technologies for persons with disabilities, adaptive technology development, robotics and human-system engineering. A significant amount of his current research relates to wearable technology to determine occupational exposures and safe human robot interactions. To contribute to the body of knowledge in this field, Dr. Merryweather is engaged in team science and has worked with researchers from multiple disciplines, including health sciences, school of medicine, college of nursing, computer science, mechanical engineering, industrial and systems engineering, and agricultural systems technology and education. He has received numerous honors and awards, and the University of Utah’s College of Engineering recognized him as an outstanding teacher on multiple occasions. Along with his colleagues, Dr. Merryweather received the 2017 IEA/Liberty Mutual Medal for original research titled “Relationships between job organizational factors, biomechanical and psychosocial exposures”.

Health and Safety in Construction: November 14, 2018
Presentation Materials:

Recording: Archived presentationexternal icon – Now Available

On Wednesday, November 14, the final installment of the 2018 Expanding Research Partnerships Webinar Series featured these exciting topics on health and safety in construction.

Utilizing Partnerships to Prevent Workplace Musculoskeletal Disorders in Construction Workers Across Age Groups
Presenter: Juliann Scholl, PhD, Social Science Researcher, NIOSH

Leadership Skills for Strengthening Job Safety Climate
Presenter: Linda Goldenhar, PhD, Director of Research and Evaluation, CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

Featured Speakers

Presentation Date: November 14, 2018

Juliann Scholl, PhD – NIOSH
Dr. Scholl is a Social Science Researcher at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Scholl is Co-director of the NIOSH National Center for Productive Aging and Work (NCPAW). She explores how occupational safety and health research findings can best be turned into guidance and delivered through a variety of channels to NIOSH stakeholders for application to the work environment. In addition to co-directing NCPAW, Dr. Scholl conducts translation research with emphasis on the reduction of musculoskeletal disorders among construction workers of different age groups. She also examines workplace intergenerational tensions and does survey research in assessing stakeholder satisfaction and impact. Dr. Scholl has expertise in cultural communication, qualitative methods, and health issues among Hispanics and older adults. Prior to NIOSH, she was a tenured professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Texas Tech University. Dr. Scholl received her Ph.D. in Communication from University of Oklahoma and her Masters in Communication Studies from University of Alabama.


Linda Goldenhar, PhD – CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training
Dr. Goldenhar is Director of Research and Evaluation at CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Trainingexternal icon. CPWR is the NIOSH-funded National Center for Construction Safety and Health Research and TranslationDr. Goldenhar has been with CPWR for the past six years. She directs the project that created the Foundations for Safety Leadership – a leadership-training module for frontline foremen and supervisors in construction. She is also the lead on CPWR’s safety climate initiatives, which include creating the Workbook and Rating Tool to Help you Strengthen Jobsite Safety Climate and the Safety Climate Assessment Tool (S-CAT)external icon. Dr. Goldenhar received her PhD in Public Health at University of Michigan and began her professional career as a Research Psychologist with NIOSH, where she worked for nine years. While at NIOSH, she focused on construction-related topics such as tradeswomen’s safety and health concerns, employee perceptions on working overtime, job stress and injury outcomes. She served as construction coordinator and was a member of the National Academies’ review of the NIOSH Construction Sector Program. Dr. Goldenhar has published 70 peer-reviewed publications, articles in trade magazines, book chapters and manuals. She also has presented extensively at national and international academic and construction conferences.

New Technologies to Reduce Exposure to Health and Safety Hazards: May 16, 2018
Presentation Materials:

Recording: Archived presentationexternal icon – Now Available

On Wednesday, May 16, the second installment of the Expanding Research Partnerships Webinar Series featured these exciting topics on new technologies to reduce exposure to health and safety hazards.

NIOSH’s VEM System – Helmet-CAM: An Innovative Tool for Assessing Workers’ Exposure to Respirable Dust and Other Contaminants
Presenter: Andrew Cecala, MBA, Principal Supervisory Mining Engineer, NIOSH

Reducing Logging Fatality and Non-Fatal Trauma Incidence Rates with New Real-Time Operational GNSS-RF Communications, Recommended Safety Procedures, and Education
Presenter: Robert Keefe, PhD, Director, University of Idaho Experimental Forest

Featured Speakers
Portrait of Andrew Cecala

Andrew Cecala, MBA – NIOSH
Andrew Cecala is a Principal Supervisory Mining Engineer with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He has been with NIOSH for 22 years in the Office of Mine Safety and Health Research. In 2015, he became the team leader of the Aerosol and Toxic Substances Team within the Dust, Ventilation, and Toxic Substances Branch. He now serves as the first line supervisor of ten different researchers. Prior to NIOSH, he worked with the U.S. Bureau of Mines for 16 years. Andrew received his Masters of Business Administration from Duquesne University and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mining Engineering from West Virginia University. He authored more than 150 publications and is the primary author of 106 of those manuscripts. During his career, he worked in many different research areas to improve the health and safety of miners. One research area of interest is reducing workers’ respirable dust exposures in the metal/nonmetal mining industry with special emphasis in the industrial minerals processing area.

portrait of Robert Keefe

Robert Keefe, PhD – University of Idaho

Dr. Keefe is Associate Professor of Forest Operations at the University of Idaho and the Director of the 10,000-acre University of Idaho Experimental Forest. He received his Ph.D. and Masters in Forestry from the University of Idaho and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from University of New Hampshire. The Experimental Forest, which Dr. Keefe oversees, is a working forest classroom with forestry activities carried out both by professional and student workers. This makes it a unique environment for teaching and research in natural resources. Dr. Keefe’s lab group works closely with regional, state, industrial and federal forestry stakeholders. His work relies on a variety of methods. However, he places emphasis on quantifying work activities on logging operations through use of mobile and wearable technologies that are equipped with location sharing. These technologies quantify and improve safety by increasing situational awareness among coworkers. This has unique challenges in remote, forest work environments where communication and sharing of mobile data are often limited. NIOSH funds Dr. Keefe through a cooperative agreement (U01) to conduct research on reducing logging fatalities and non-fatal trauma incidence rates with new real-time operational Global Positioning System (GPS) communications.

Work and Health-Related Factors Associated with Injury and Illness Outcomes: February 14, 2018
Presentation Materials:

Recording: Archived presentationexternal icon – Now Available

On Wednesday, February 14, the kick-off of the Expanding Research Partnerships Webinar Series featured these exciting topics about work and health-related factors associated with injury and illness outcomes.

Work Arrangement, Job Stress, and Health-Related Quality of Life
Presenter: Tapas Ray, PhD, Economist, NIOSH

Health-related Predictors of Workers’ Compensation Claims
Presenter: Erin Shore, MPH, Professional Research Associate, Colorado School of Public Health

Featured Speakers:
Ray Tapas

Tapas Ray, PhD – NIOSH
Dr. Ray is as an economist with National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Currently, he serves as the assistant coordinator for the NIOSH Healthy Work Design and Well-Being Program. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from University of Connecticut and his Masters from Delhi School of Economics. Prior to joining CDC/NIOSH in 2004 as a Prevention Effectiveness Fellow, he taught at the University of Connecticut, worked in India as a social researcher, and at the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis as a research economist.  His current interests are economics of work stress, non-standard and precarious employment arrangement, and contribution of work towards health-related quality of life (HRQL) and well-being. His scholarly work includes numerous articles, presentations, workshops, and symposia in both environmental and public health economics. Dr. Ray also teaches economics at the Miami University, Oxford.

Erin Shore

Erin Shore, MPH – Colorado School of Public Health
Erin Shore is a Professional Research Assistant for the Center for Health, Work & Environmentexternal icon at the Colorado School of Public Health—one of six NIOSH-funded Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health®. She conducts research for projects, including program evaluation and occupational health and safety. Erin earned her MPH with a concentration in Epidemiology from Emory University. She also has a BS in Health and Exercise Science from the University of Oklahoma.

Page last reviewed: April 11, 2018