UNMC researchers among group receiving ag safety grants

November 17, 2020

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Three UNMC and two University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers recently received grant funding for pilot projects that address critical issues in agricultural safety and health.

The Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CS-CASH) and the UNMC and UNL offices of the vice chancellor for research provided $140,000 in funding for eight projects with awards up to $20,000 over an 18-month period.

CS-CASH, an agricultural safety and health center in the UNMC College of Public Health, receives funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Programs and curriculum developed from pilot grants impact farmers and ranchers, their families and communities, as well as lead to more extensive studies. Data from pilot projects have been used to generate more than $12 million in additional funding related to agricultural safety and health.

Investigators funded and their projects are:

  • Rohit Gaurav, PhD, UNMC College of Medicine: Human lung 3D organoids as model of damage and repair of lungs in agricultural airborne biohazards;
  • Balkissa Ouattara, MD/PhD student, and Eleanor Rogan, PhD, UNMC College of Public Health: Investigation of a possible relationship between water contaminants in rural Nebraska and elevated incidence of birth defects;
  • Sue Schuelke, PhD, and Michelle Ellermeier, UNMC College of Nursing: Agricultural Safety and Health Curriculum: Preparing the next generation of rural nurses;
  • Santosh Pitla, PhD, UNL: Ag-Operator Monitoring Systems for Safety and Health Risk Detection and Assessment;
  • Susan Harris, UNL, Nebraska Extension: Sleep in Ag: Investing in the feasibility of measuring sleep quantity and quality in agricultural workers;
  • Gretchen Mosher, PhD, Iowa State University: Ag-Operator Monitoring Systems for Safety and Health Risk Detection and Assessment;
  • Serap Gorucu, PhD, University of Florida: Redesigning National Agricultural Safety Database; and
  • Jane Allsup and Bill Field, PhD, Purdue University: Gasoline Safety on the Farm: Developing a strategy to reduce the frequency and severity of gasoline-related explosions, fires and burns involving farm and rural children.

The program goal is to enable investigators to collect preliminary data to support submission of grant applications for independent, longer-term, projects related to agricultural safety and health.

The Pilot Projects Program has been an essential component of the CS-CASH since the center was established in 2011. In addition to NIOSH funding, funding from UNMC's Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research has allowed CS-CASH to fund 54 pilot projects from 2011 through 2019.

The next call for applications will be May 2021. For more information, contact Ellen Duysen.


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Rod Peterson
November 18, 2020 at 10:12 PM

Fantastic news!