NIOSH ERC Pilot Projects Research Symposium

Friday, June 21, 2019    12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Reuel A. Stallones (RAS) Building, Room 102A


Click the following links to download Symposium Agenda and Flyer

Keynote Speaker: Rene Pana-Cryan, PhD

Director of the Economic Research and Support Office (ERSO)

About the Pilot Projects Research Training Program

The goal of the Pilot Projects Research Training Program is to enhance Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH) regional outreach efforts in research training and to foster stronger inter-institutional ties in occupational health research within Public Health Region 6 (PHR 6) (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas). This program is directed by David I. Douphrate, PhD, MPT, MBA, CPE, CSP.

The objective of the program is to provide a support mechanism for pilot research projects initiated by:


  • Junior faculty exploring the feasibility of new research approaches that may allow investigators to collect preliminary data to subsequently develop larger grant applications
  • Graduate research trainees that need partial or supplementary funding to complete or enhance short term studies (e.g., doctoral dissertation research); and/or
  • Faculty in areas other than occupational health research who wish to transition or expand their research interest to workers' health issues (“new faculty investigators”).

The 2018-2019 PPRTP awardees will present their research over the course of the afternoon symposium.

Learning Objectives

Target Audience: Occupational and Environmental Health Professionals and Students

Continuing Education Units:
Determination of credit is pending for CEUs and CME

At the conclusion of the symposium, participants will be able to:

  • Describe approaches for assessing broad economic impacts of healthy work design and worker well-being programs
  • Discuss examples of economic impacts by levels of analysis and assessment approaches

Keynote Speaker

The Economics of Healthy Work Design and Well-Being

Rene Pana-Cryan, PhD

Rene is the Director of the Economic Research and Support Office (ERSO) that was established in late 2014 in the Office of the Director of the National Institute for Occupational safety and Health (NIOSH). She also co-manages the NIOSH Healthy Work Design and Worker Well-being (HWD) Cross-Sector Program. Rene joined the NIOSH Office of the Director in 1996 as a post-doctoral Prevention Effectiveness Fellow. From 2004 until late 2014, she served as a Senior Scientist in the Office of the Associate Director for Science. Her current interests include the application of multiple standardized methods to assess the broad impact of worker injury and illness to workers and their families, employers, and society. This will help to better prioritize prevention efforts. She is also interested in improving the understanding of the impact of economic factors on the incidence and severity of worker injury and illness. Rene received a BS in Plant Science from the University of Thessaloniki, Greece, a BS in Accounting and Finance from Deree College, Greece, and an MS and PhD in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida.


Awardee Presentations

Presentations by Pilot Projects Research Training Awardees:


Aurelie Azoug, PhD
Oklahoma State University
Mitigating Posture Changes and Risks of Falling in Standing Pregnant Workers


Cheng-Yen Chang, MS
Baylor College of Medicine
The Role of Nano-Particulated Carbon Black in Lung Cancer Development


Gabriel Ibarra-Mejia, MD, PhD
University of Texas at El Paso
Exploring Molecular Changes and Inflammatory Cytokinen


Brendon McDermott, PhD
University of Arkansas
The Effect of Sugar-Sweetened Electrolyte Beverages on Biomarkers of Hydration and Renal Stress During and Following Industrial Work in the Heat


William Brett Perkison, MD, MPH, FACOEM
UTHealth School of Public Health, Houston
The Hurricane Harvey Outreach Protection Plan Worker and Resident Survey


Anabel Rodriguez, MPH
UTHealth School of Public Health, San Antonio
Tuberculosis Among Dairy Workers in Bailey County, Texas



This session is FREE, and open to all.

A light lunch will be served at the beginning of the symposium.



for off campus participation


For additional symposium information contact: Ms. Peggy Weinshilboum at (713) 500-9479 or PilotProjects@uth.tmc.edu




Location & Parking


The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)
School of Public Health

1200 Pressler St. Houston, TX 77030
Reuel A. Stallones (RAS) Building
1st floor, Room 102A

Click here for directions

Parking Information

Visitor parking is available in front of the UTHealth School of Public Health in a very limited capacity for a fee up to $20.00 per day.

Parking can also be found at TMC Garage 2 across Holcombe off Bertner.

Click Here for Garage 2 Rates and Map


Contact Us

Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health

Peggy Weinshilboum - PPRTP Coordinator

Phone: 713-500-9479

Michelle McDaniel - Continuing Education Coordinator
Email: Michelle.R.McDaniel@uth.tmc.edu
Phone: 713-500-9447

To learn more about the SWCOEH, please visit us on the web at www.swcoeh.org


Your Best Reponse to a Changing World!

The Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH) supports research, education and outreach in occupational and environmental health. The SWCOEH is housed within the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences of the UTHealth School of Public Health and is under the leadership of Elaine Symanski, PhD who serves as Director.

The SWCOEH was established in 1977 as a NIOSH-funded Education and Research Center (ERC), now one of 18 ERCs in the nation. In 1985, the SWCOEH became a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health.

Visit www.SWCOEH.org to learn more about our graduate-level education in environmental and occupational health, research and continuing education and outreach programs.

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