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Susan Sama

Susan Sama
Susan Sama, Sc.D. Research Professor

Research Interest

• The relationship between Occupational and environmental exposures and  exacerbation of chronic respiratory diseases including asthma and COPD.

• The relationship between exhaled biomarkers (ENO) at baseline and during exacerbations in asthma and COPD.

• The relationship between proximity to traffic and asthma in children. 

• Risk factors for Sharps injuries among home health care workers.

• The effectiveness of disease management programs for chronic diseases such as asthma or diabetes with regards to improvements in health and reduction of healthcare utilization costs. 

Educational Background

Sc.D., Epidemiology/Work Environment Department, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 1996
M.S. Epidemiology, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 1990
B.S.N. Nursing, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 1987


Susan Sama is a Research Professor in the Department of Public Health.  Susan has worked on a variety of projects relating to occupational health. Dr. Sama enjoys teaching and has taught Introduction to Biostatistics and Epidemiology and Toxicology and Health Effects of Work Related Exposures in the graduate program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Initially she worked as a Senior Epidemiologist at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries in the Safety & Health Assessment & Research for Prevention (SHARP) Program in Olympia, Washington. There she was a member of a multi-disciplinary occupational health and safety research team, conducting investigations on a variety of occupational exposures, injuries and disease.  She was the Principal Investigator/Project Manager for a surveillance project designed to evaluate occupationally related skin disorders in the state of Washington and for the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance program designed to identify cases of occupational lead poisoning in order to initiate appropriate worksite interventions.  She was Co-Principal Investigator for an intervention evaluation project (funded by NIOSH) to evaluate the effectiveness of “zero-lift” programs, job modification support and a workers’ compensation incentive on reducing back and shoulder injuries in nursing home staff.  Dr. Sama was also Principal Investigator for a research grant awarded by NIOSH to evaluate the relationship between asthma and chronic sinusitis in occupational cohorts. She also worked with colleagues at the Department of Health to revise reportable condition legislation with primary responsibility for incorporating select occupational conditions. 

More recently Dr. Sama has been involved with a multi-disciplinary occupational health research team to conduct several epidemiologic investigations including the following areas: Sharps injuries in home health care workers, proximity to traffic and asthma in children and exhaled breath biomarkers in relation to asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 

Dr. Sama also provides epidemiologic support for the Fallon Clinic Research Department where she is directing a study aimed at improving mammography in non-adherent women and the effectiveness of disease management groups. She has also collaborated with colleagues from the Channing Laboratory at Harvard University in conducting studies evaluating genetic markers of COPD exacerbation frequency and other studies of the Fallon Clinic COPD population.