WVU, NIOSH seek to step up research collaboration

Scientists address health of people in the workplace

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Albert E. Munson, Ph.D., director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) Health Effects Laboratory Division, met with health research leaders at West Virginia University earlier this month to encourage even stronger research ties between the two organizations.

“We are together on this campus for a reason,” he said, noting that nearly two dozen WVU researchers have guest researcher status in NIOSH, and 41 NIOSH researchers are adjunct faculty members at the University.

The collaborations among scientists – which include WVU faculty from across several disciplines – are productive from a research standpoint, said Thomas M. Saba, Ph.D., associate vice president for research and graduate education in the WVU Health Sciences Center. “There is a vast potential for further expansion in clinically relevant science. Because of the close connections that NIOSH has with real-world issues faced by people in hundreds of workplaces, the work we do together is very important to the community and the state.”

Munson met with the Scientific Advisory Board of the WVU Health Sciences Center, which includes top researchers from all four health schools who meet regularly to help set research goals and priorities. He discussed NIOSH’s mission as the scientific arm created by Congress as a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide national and world leadership to prevent work-related illnesses and injuries. The research group is intentionally kept separate from the regulatory activities carried out by the Occupational and Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), although the two groups work together on many issues.

About half of NIOSH’s scientific staff is based in Morgantown, with others at labs in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Spokane and Atlanta. In addition to the Health Effects Laboratory, led by Munson, the Morgantown facilities are the headquarters for NIOSH’s Division of Safety Research and Division of Respiratory Disease Studies.

Collaborative activities discussed at the meeting included possibilities for adding more WVU faculty as guest researchers at NIOSH and sharing of costly core laboratory facilities that could be useful to both university and government researchers.



For more information:
Andrea Brunais, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
XX: 6-011-10

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