2019 Expanding Research Partnerships Series

An Expanded Focus for Occupational Safety and Health: September 18, 2019
Presentation Materials

Recording: Archived presentation– Now Available

On Wednesday, September 18, 2019, we kicked off the final installment of the 2019 Expanding Research Partnerships Webinar Series. We featured 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

Featured Speakers

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 Center. 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.

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

Webinar Slides – Now Available;
Recording: Archived presentation– 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

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 presentation– 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


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 Safety.

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 Utah 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 Center 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”.