NIOSH logo and tagline

NIOSH Announces Grant Awards for Priority Research Under Largest External Funding Ever for Job Health, Safety

NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 260-8519
October 13, 1998

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) today announced the award of 37 competitive research grants in several priority areas under the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). The award of the 37 grants is part of the single largest infusion of funding ever by the federal government for extramural occupational health and safety research.

The NIOSH grants, totaling $5.4 million, will fund projects in the NORA-related areas of occupational irritant dermatitis; work-related musculoskeletal disorders, traumatic injuries, indoor environment, and asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; nature and magnitude of special risk factors for older and/or minority workers; social and economic consequences of workplace injury and illness, and health services research; and research to evaluate existing or new interventions to protect workers from job-related musculoskeletal disorders, traumatic injuries, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other occupational risks through changes in work organization, control technology, or other worker protection techniques.

“We are pleased to make this historic commitment to expanding first-class occupational health and safety research,” said NIOSH Director Linda Rosenstock, M.D., M.P.H. “We were delighted by the tremendous number and diversity of excellent proposals we received, and we look forward to building on this initial investment in critically needed science. The high quality of these studies offers further proof that NORA is key for stimulating the new research needed to address the multi-billion-dollar problem of workplace injury and illness.”

Among the studies funded under the 37 NIOSH grants are projects relating to traumatic occupational injuries in teen workers, physical movements in the use of the computer mouse and keyboard, hazards to employees in the expanding health-care industry, job-related asthma, indoor air quality, workplace risks in growing populations of immigrant and minority workers, testing of a miniaturized sampling device designed to improve the measurement of airborne particles linked with costly lung diseases, and refinement and testing of a new method that may improve worker hearing protection.

The grants include NIOSH’s portion of funds announced in a March 1998 Request for Applications under NORA with the National Institute of Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in the National Institutes of Health. NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Final decisions are pending on NIH funding for several proposals. Total funding, including the NIH support, is anticipated to be $8 million.

Developed by NIOSH with extensive input and outside review by more than 500 organizations and individuals, NORA provides a national blueprint for research in 21 priority areas that will do the most to prevent and reduce job-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths over the coming decade. The new grants are supported by funds specifically provided by Congress in NIOSH’s fiscal 1998 appropriation for research under NORA.

A list of the new NIOSH awards is attached by topic area. For further information about the awards, NORA, and other NIOSH research, call the toll-free NIOSH information number, 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674).

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Grant Awards (37) Related to the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA)
Grouped by NORA Priority Areas


Role of Vernix as A Natural Biofilm and Epidermal Protectant ($63,000)
Hoath, Steven, M.D.
Children’s Hospital Research Foundation
Cincinnati, Ohio

Prediction of Irritation Based in Exposure Duration ($245,082)
McDougal, James, Ph.D.
Wright State University
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio

In Vitro Assay for Hapten-Specific Priming of Human T Lymphocytes ($40,500)
Streilein, J. Wayne, M.D.
Schepens Eye Research Institute
Boston, Massachusetts

Health Services

Evidence-Based Medical Examinations for Firefighters ($184,197)
Kales, Stefanos, M.D.
Harvard University
Boston, Massachusetts

Indoor Environment

Prevention of IEQ-Related Absence: An Intervention Study ($249,952)
Milton, Donald, M.D., Ph.D.
Harvard University
Boston, Massachusetts

Microanalytical System for Indoor VOC Monitoring ($267,910)
Zellers, Edward, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Intervention Effectiveness

Organizational Predictors of Successful Return to Work ($261,595)
Amick, Benjamin, Ph.D.
New England Medical Center
Boston, Massachusetts

ROPS Design and Testing for Agricultural Tractors ($136,160)
Ayers, Paul, Ph.D.
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado

Leadership Intervention for Fire Service Personnel ($143,691)
Beaton, Randal, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington

A New Training Intervention to Prevent Back Injuries ($224,026)
Lavender, Steven, Ph.D.
Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center
Chicago, Illinois

Work Organization and Depression Among Nursing Home Aides ($106,923)
Muntaner, Carles, M.D., Ph.D.
West Virginia University
Morgantown, West Virginia

Health & Safety-Pollution Prevention in Hospitals ($240,691)
Quinn, Margaret, Sc.D.
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Lowell, Massachusetts

Field Study of Hearing Protector Evaluation Procedure ($38,897)
Rimmer, Thomas, Sc.D.
University of Arkansas
Little Rock, Arkansas

Getting to Zero in Nursing Homes: Intervention Effectiveness ($110,499)
Silverstein, Barbara, Ph.D., M.P.H., C.P.E.
Department of Labor and Industries
Olympia, Washington

The Buffalo Police Health Study: A Baseline Evaluation ($76,986)
Violanti, John, M.A., Ph.D.
University of Buffalo
Buffalo, New York

Lung Disease

A Novel Mouse Model of Isocyanate-Induced Asthma ($81,750)
Bottomly, Kim, Ph.D.
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut

Respiratory Disease Among Sawmill Workers ($44,133)
Demers, Paul, Ph.D.
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C., CANADA

Pulmonary Effects of Machining Fluid Aerosols ($213,038)
Gordon, Terry, Ph.D.
New York University Medical Center
Tuxedo, New York

Estimation of Highest Task Silica Exposures ($35,037)
Grimsley, L. Faye
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio

Passive Sampler for Particles ($35,066)
Leith, David, Sc.D.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Development of New Personal Aerosol Samplers ($139,449)
Vincent, James, Ph.D., D.Sc.
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Musculoskeletal Disorders

An Intervention to Reduce Disability in Injuries Workers ($249,056)
Evanoff, Bradley, M.D.
Barnes-Jewish Hospital
St. Louis, Missouri

Quantifying the Use of Keyboard/Mouse through Intranet ($62,877)
Lui, Wen Chen, Ph.D.
University of California at Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California

CTS Incidence & Correlates of Worker’s Compensation Claims ($74,000)
Punnett, Laura, Sc.D.
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Lowell, Massachusetts

An Animal Model for Repetitive Finger Loading ($63,000)
(Announcement of this award is pending)

MSDs in Nurses: Organization and Physical Work Factors ($221,323)
Trinkoff, Alison, Sc.D.
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Baltimore, Maryland

Social and Economic Consequences

The Employment Impact of Workplace Injuries in 5 States ($249,977)
Boden, Leslie, Ph.D.
Boston University
Boston, Massachusetts

Functional Limitation & Recovery from At-Work Injuries ($44,657)
Gillen, Marion, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, California

Special Populations

Green Tobacco Sickness in Minority Farmworkers ($236,910)
Arcury, Thomas, Ph.D.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Collecting Elusive Data on Immigrant Occupational Health ($74,000)
Levenstein, Charles, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts
Lowell, Massachusetts

Factors Affecting the Health of Employed Pregnant Women ($242,801)
Luchok, Kathryn, Ph.D.
University of Kentucky Research Foundation
Lexington, Kentucky

Hispanics and Noise-Induced Hearing Loss ($62,384)
Rabinowitz, Peter, M.D.
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut

Traumatic Injuries

On-The-Job Injury in South Texas Middle School Children ($72,770)
Cooper, Sharon, Ph.D.
The University of Texas
Houston , Texas

Etiology of Injury in Drywall and Residential Carpentry ($249,951)
Lipscomb, Hester
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina

A Case Crossover Study of Occupational Hand Injuries ($221,544)
Mittleman, Murray, M.D., Ph.D.
Harvard University
Boston, Massachusetts

Impact of Time and SCBA Tank Utilization on Injury Prevention in Fire Fighters ($238,685)
Prezant, David , M.D.
Montefiore Medical Center
Bronx, New York

Adolescent Toxic Exposures in the Workplace ($82,500)
Woolf, Alan, M.D.
Children’s Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts