Research Labs

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Providing the expertise, facilities, and partnerships to move forward the science of occupational health.

Researchers at the Institute study the mechanisms, environmental factors, and genetic susceptibilities that impact health, safety, and well-being in the workplace and beyond. Discoveries in these areas provide the foundation for evidence-based solutions to improve employee health and safety in the workplace. 

Our research is organized around four key themes: sleep and circadian health, environmental exposure, supportive workplace practices, and safety at work. Our unique approach to occupational health, safety, and well-being spans disciplines, resulting in discoveries and innovative solutions that support and promote a healthy workforce in Oregon and beyond. 

Primary research labs and groups

Charles N. Allen Lab

The Allen Lab seeks to understand the intracellular and intercellular signaling mechanisms that couple suprachiasmatic nucleus neurons into a neural network that generates circadian rhythms. This work furthers our understanding of the role of circadian rhythmicity to overall health. 

Nicole Bowles Lab

The Bowles Lab examines the roles of factors including stress, health disparities, neuroendocrinology, circadian rhythms, sleep behavior, and cannabinoids on health and well-being. 

Matthew P. Butler Lab

The Butler Clock Physiology Lab seeks to understand how internal clocks in the body are synchronized and regulate physiology and behavior, factors critical to overall health and well-being.

Leslie B. Hammer Lab

Researchers in the Hammer Lab specialize in the effects of workplace conditions and the role of supportive supervision on occupational stress, mental health, and well-being. 

Emily (Yueng-hsiang) Huang Lab

In Dr. Huang’s Safety Climate Lab, the research team focuses on improving the quality of life for individuals through building a healthy and safe workplace. The team achieves this through developing tools to assess and improve organizational culture and climate in ways that support workplace safety. 

David A. Hurtado Lab

The Hurtado Lab conducts applied and epidemiological research on the workplace and social determinants of health. Studies focus on the healthcare industry, high-risk marginalized workforces, and occupational health and safety issues. 

Doris E. Kretzschmar Lab

The focus of the Kretzschmar Lab is to identify genetic factors and mechanisms that lead to progressive degeneration of the adult nervous system using Drosophila as a model for human diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. 

R. Stephen Lloyd Lab

Research in the Lloyd and McCullough Labs focuses on the mechanisms through which the efficiencies of DNA repair alter risk to environmental and endogenous exposures and the design of therapeutic interventions to minimize disease risk. 

Amanda K. McCullough Lab

Research in the Lloyd and McCullough Lab focuses on investigations of the biochemical mechanisms of DNA repair and replication in response to environmental toxicant exposures and the genetic and disease consequences associated with deficiencies in these processes.

Steven A. Shea Lab

The Shea Lab studies the biological basis behind changes in disease severity across day and night to uncover new insights into the underlying causes of disease and inform the development of therapies and countermeasures to reduce the adverse health effects of shift work.

Saurabh Thosar Lab

The Thosar Lab studies the effects of workplace behaviors and conditions, such as physical inactivity, circadian rhythms, and sleep and their impact on cardiometabolic health.  

Caren Weinhouse Lab

The Weinhouse Lab studies the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation and epigenetic patterning in response to environmental cues or stressors, with a focus on chemical pollutants.

Affiliated research labs and groups

Jonathan Emens Lab

Research in the Emens Lab focuses on circadian rhythm sleep disorders (in particular, Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Rhythm Disorder), sleep and circadian physiology in mood disorders, and circadian physiology in sleep apnea and obesity.

Miranda Lim Lab

The Lim Lab focuses on how sleep modulates neuropathological and behavioral outcomes in neurological disorders across the lifespan, including TBI, PTSD, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s diseases. 

Andrew McHill Lab

The McHill  Sleep, Chronobiology, and Health Lab focuses on understanding why insufficient sleep and being awake during the night leads to poor health and impaired cognitive performance. The research team studies how eating during typical sleep hours influences energy expenditure, glucose metabolism, cardiovascular health, and overall body composition. 

Suzanne H. Mitchell Lab

The Translational Neuroeconomics Lab studies how individuals evaluate the costs and benefits associated with obtaining outcomes or performing specific behaviors. Research in the lab focuses on studying the neural, genetic, and psychological processes governing how individuals choose between alternatives.

Ryan B. Olson Lab

The Olson Lab is focused on safety and health interventions for workers who typically work alone and behaviors these workers can practice to promote safety and health at work. The goal of the research is to understand how organizations can best protect and promote health among workers who are physically isolated from peers. 

Brad Wipfli Lab

Research in the Wipfli Lab concentrates on health promotion and health behavior, particularly on identifying strategies to increase physical activity and improve physical and mental health. He also investigates how changes in health behaviors impact physiological processes and clinical indicators of illness and disease. 

Learn more about our work

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Explore professional development opportunities, the latest updates from the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center and the Occupational Public Health Program, a research snapshot, and upcoming occupational health-focused events.

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The Oregon and the Workplace Blog features the latest from OccHealthSci research, professional development opportunities, and valuable insights from disciplines associated with occupational health, safety, and well-being.

OccHealthSci staff member Shaun McGillis recording a podcast.


The What's Work Got to Do with It podcast, produced by OccHealthSci, brings together occupational health, safety, and well-being experts to discuss the latest topics relating to worker health, well-being, and safety in Oregon and beyond.