Superfund Research Program

This Progress in Research webinar series will showcase federally funded researchers developing curricula and educational programs focused on emergent technologies in the sphere of occupational health and safety. Over the three sessions, awardees will highlight their research projects, accomplishments, and demonstrate research products – included in this group of researchers are SRP’s seven R25 grant recipients. SRP is also pleased to welcome participation from the NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH).


Session I — Friday, April 26th | 1:00 – 3:00 PM ET

The first session will feature three R25 grant recipients from SRP’s portfolio including projects hosted by the City University of New York, Purdue University, and the University of California – Los Angeles

City University of New York (CUNY) | New York Training Center for Emerging Technologies in Industrial Hygiene: Brian Pavilonis, Ph.D., and Homero Harari, Sc.D., will plan to discuss the work their grant has facilitated in support of training and research opportunities for industrial hygiene students in New York City. They will also showcase a sensor technology employed in nail salons to monitor indoor hazardous airborne contaminants and the risks posed to nail technicians.

University of California, Los Angeles | Occupational and Environmental Exposures and Work Practices for Nanomaterials and Electronic Products: Candace Tsai, Ph.D., will discuss how her grant provides professional training through academic curricula, research experiences, and continuing education courses in industrial hygiene and environmental health sciences to graduate students and industrial hygienists in the Southern California region. This presentation will also include several research results accomplished by graduate student trainees in the topics of electronic waste recycling and assessment, 3D printing evaluation, virtual reality applications to firefighters’ workplace and potential biological effects associated with green solvent use as emerging alternatives. Additionally, current progress of UCLA’s training program and emerging technology course will be summarized.

Purdue University | Distance Education and Training on Emerging Contaminants and Technologies (DETECT): Ellen Wells, Ph.D., will introduce and provide the current status of her NIH R25 Distance Education and Training on Emerging Contaminants and Technologies (DETECT) project, which is a collaboration between faculty at Purdue University, the University of Toledo, and the University of South Florida. Goals of the project are to provide educational resources in the areas of Emerging Contaminants, Emerging Technologies, and Safety Management Systems.

Speakers include:

  • Brian Pavilonis, Ph.D., CUNY & Homero Harari, Sc.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • Ellen Wells, Ph.D., Purdue University
  • Candace Tsai, Ph.D., UCLA
  • Moderator: Danielle Carlin, Ph.D., NIEHS SRP


Session II — Friday, May 3rd | 1:00 – 3:00 PM ET

The second session will feature three R25 grant recipients from SRP’s portfolio including projects hosted by the University of Minnesota, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Michigan

University of Minnesota | The Interdisciplinary Training, Education and Research Activities for Assessing and Controlling Contaminants from Emerging Technologies (InTERACCT) Program:
Rachael Jones, Ph.D., will describe the aims and progress made by the Interdisciplinary Training, education and Research Activities for Assessing and Controlling Contaminants from Emerging Technologies (InTERACCT) Program. The InTERACCT program is focused on developing course content for graduate students and continuing education in industrial hygiene through online asynchronous course modules that will be utilized in academic programs and in continuing education. In addition, the project offers several graduate research experiences, including a week-long summer intensive program for undergraduate STEM majors.

Johns Hopkins University | Program on Occupational Health and Safety Education on Emerging Technologies - Mid Atlantic Partnership (POccET MAP):
Gurumurthy Ramachandran, Ph.D., will present on the Program on Occupational health and safety education on Emerging Technologies – Mid Atlantic Partnership (POccETMAP) – a collaboration across 
Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, George Mason University, and Old Dominion University to develop and widely distribute a web-based curriculum to prepare students in industrial hygiene, STEM disciplines, and occupational health and safety professionals with the skills necessary to address health and safety issues that arise in emerging technology areas. Other aims that Dr. Ramachandran will cover include creating lab and field-based experiences for graduate students, and the development of a Masters in Sustainability and Product Stewardship.

University of Michigan | Michigan-Ohio Occupational Research Education (MOORE) Program:
Representing the Michigan-Ohio Occupational Research Education (MOORE) Program are Stuart Batterman, Ph.D., and Kermit Davis, Ph.D., to discuss the overarching goal of leveraging activities at the University of Michigan, University of Cincinnati, and Michigan State University to develop and deliver training and research experiences for graduate students and professionals to advance skills in the field of occupational health and safety. They will expand on their efforts to examine advanced exposure assessment approaches applied to aerosols, indoor air quality and ventilation, and ergonomics, particularly in health care settings, including care in residential settings often performed by low wage and disadvantaged populations.

Speakers include:

  • Rachael Jones, Ph.D., UCLA
  • Gurumurthy Ramachandran, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
  • Stuart Batterman, Ph.D., University of Michigan & Kermit Davis, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati
  • Moderator: Eric Persaud, Dr.P.H., NIEHS WTP


Session III — Friday, May 17th | 12:00 – 2:00 PM ET

The third session will feature one R25 grant recipient from SRP’s portfolio, hosted by the University of Utah, as well as a grant recipient from WTP and a representative from NIOSH’s Office of Extramural Programs. 

University of Utah | Biological Hazard Site Training in Emerging Technologies (BioSTET) for Health and Safety:
Biological hazards present an ongoing threat to occupational health, especially by workers during site cleanup. Research on emerging technologies has offered promising inroads to a creative and integrated resolution of these hazards. However, new academic coursework, as well as further advances in research, are needed. Darrah Sleeth, PhD., and Rod Handy, Ph.D., plan to address their role in solving that research gap on behalf of BioSTET, a collaborative effort between the University of Utah, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Montana Tech, and East Tennessee State University, with evaluation activities through the University of California, Los Angeles and Texas A&M University. The goal is to create continuing education (CE) and academic courses in emerging technologies specific to site biological health and safety.

Cell Podium:
Cesar Bandera, Ph.D., will discuss his organization Cell Podium, a digital solutions provider offering products and services for public health and responder training – offering a new dimension of realism and skill development in HAZMAT field training exercises. Lean startup research shows how relationships between innovation ecosystem stakeholders affect the “Valley of Death.”  The ecosystem of the NIEHS Worker Training Program includes stakeholders from both the training community and the technology community – Cell Podium, a WTP grant awardee being a company that bridges those two communities. Dr. Bandera will present two innovations for HAZMAT training – SensorSim and Virtex –  and how this ecosystem facilitated their development and adoption.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC NIOSH):
Elizabeth Maples, Ph.D., will provide a brief overview of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) – an agency with a strong, diverse history of positively impacting worker health and safety. Her presentation will then focus on the NIOSH Training Portfolio that she manages:  Education and Research Centers and Training Project Grants. She’ll offer a glimpse into the diverse training, research, outreach, and continuing education programs that the NIOSH Training Portfolio has – perhaps leading to opportunities for collaboration.

Speakers include:

  • Darrah Sleeth, Ph.D., University of Utah & Rod Handy, Ph.D., University of Utah
  • Cesar Bandera, Ph.D., Cell Podium
  • Elizabeth Maples, Ph.D., CDC NIOSH
  • Moderator: Sudha Pandalai, M.D., CDC NIOSH