Susan Woskie

Susan Woskie, Work Environment

Kitson 204B

Research Interest

Exposure assessment for epidemiologic studies; Methods for sampling and analysis of personal exposures to chemicals; Biomarkers; Statistical analysis of exposure data; Evaluation of environmental and process factors for predicting and controlling workplace exposures.

Research Interests and Collaborations

Educational Background

Ph.D. Biomedical Science/Industrial Hygiene,
Clark University, 1990

M.Sc. Environmental Health/Industrial Hygiene, Harvard School of Public Health, 1980

B.Sc., Human Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1977


Over the years I have collaborated on large occupational epidemiolgic studies with colleagues at a number of universities. These studies have covered an array of hazards and industries. In the vast majority of these collaborations, my role has been to develop new approaches to the complex task of exposure assessment for epidemiologic studies, producing effective dose or exposure estimates for these occupational study populations. In these studies the assessment of exposure was seen as a necessary element in the effort to relate an observed health effect to a workplace exposure. More recently I have begun to do more work in environmental exposure assessment for air toxics and indoor air pollutants.

Exposure assessment for epidemiologic studies requires the appropriate choice of biologically relevant sampling and analytical methods, including the determination of relevant "marker" compounds for complex mixtures. In some cases it includes the development of new sampling or analytical methods to better characterize the exposures. In other cases it includes historical reconstruction of exposures for the industry or the individual.

More recently, I have begun to work in the area of biomarkers of exposure as a means of addressing all of the routes of exposure of an individual. Focusing on biomarkers has also returned me to a previous area of research, toxicokinetic modeling. I have also had a long term interest in using statistical modeling methods to examine the workplace determinants of exposure. I believe these methods can be used to identify and target exposure control strategies that will have maximum effectiveness.

Our occupational and environmental hygiene laboratory facilities include a broad array of analytical equipment for air, water, biological fluid and soil analysis of chemical exposures, as well as a variety of direct reading and integrated sampling equipment types. With these resources we are applying and developing new sampling and analytical methods to examine exposures in traditional and emerging technologies, mixed exposure scenarios and to develop biological markers of exposure to  better integrate total exposure assessment into epidemiology and risk assessment.

In 2007-2008, I spent my sabbatical in Bangkok Thailand at Mahidol University Faculty of Public Health as a Fulbright Scholar.  While there I met many wonderful colleagues and built some lasting friendships. I am currently working to develop stronger ties between UMass Lowell and Mahidol through student and faculty exchanges and joint research programs. Through my involvement on several University committees I hope to help build a vibrant international program here at UMass Lowell.