Professors Leslie Hammer and R. Stephen Lloyd are the recipients of the inaugural Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences awards for applied and basic/clinical research, respectively.
The Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences has named the inaugural Impact Awards for Research recipients. Professor Leslie Hammer is the recipient of the Impact Award for Applied Research. Professor Stephen Lloyd received the Impact Award for Basic/Clinical Research.
The Impact Awards recognize Institute faculty for pursuing, conducting, and disseminating research that has the potential for positive impacts on workers in Oregon and beyond. Recipients of the awards receive a $2,500 honorarium.
To receive the applied science award, nominees must have conducted research that produced practical changes to improve safety, health, or well-being in working people demonstrated in or derived from published work. To receive the basic/clinical sciences, nominees must have conducted research that produces discoveries about biological mechanisms, functions, or clinical practice/treatment. The recipients are nominated by their colleagues and selected by a jury of peers based on the significance and quality of the research.
“The Institute’s Impact Awards for Research recognize the outstanding contributions of our faculty members to occupational health sciences,” said Dr. Steven Shea, Director of the Institute. “This year’s awards recipients are among the top researchers in their fields. Their work has resulted in tangible outcomes–improving workers’ safety, health, and well-being and expanding our knowledge of the role of DNA repair mechanisms in cancer, metabolic syndrome, and neurodegeneration.”
Support for the Institute Impact Awards for Research comes from W. Kent and Billie F. Anger. Dr. Kent Anger is an Emeritus Professor and former Associate Director of Applied Research at the Institute. The Institute thanks Kent and Billie for their generous contributions to the Impact Awards and their commitment to recognizing the quality and utility of research produced by faculty at the Institute.
Leslie Hammer, Ph.D. – Impact Award for Applied Research
Dr. Leslie Hammer specializes in the effects of workplace conditions, including supportive supervision at work and occupational stress, on workplace mental health and well-being. Professor Hammer is the Associate Director of Applied Research at the Institute and Co-Director of the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center.
The impact of Professor Hammer’s research is wide-ranging and often focuses on helping leaders support workers’ safety, health, and well-being. Professor Hammer’s dedication to translating research results into practical workplace applications is evident through the publicly available resources she and her collaborators have developed. Many of those resources are accessible via the Center for Supportive Leadership website.
Projects with a direct through line to public impact include:
Readiness Supportive Leadership Training
This program, developed in collaboration with Jennifer Dimoff, Ph.D., improved readiness and resilience, psychological health, team cohesion, and reduced loneliness in U.S. Army soldiers participating in the project. The program is applicable to other military branches, emergency workers, and high-stress civilian occupations. It is the basis of the widely disseminated Workplace Mental Health Training for Managers in the non-military sector program.
Military Employee Sleep and Health Study
This study addressed sleep-related health concerns by developing and implementing the Family and Sleep Supportive Training for Oregon National Guard leaders. Results showed positive impacts on sleep health, general well-being, and improved work outcomes, such as higher job satisfaction and safety behavior and reduced turnover intentions.
Stephen Lloyd, Ph.D. – Impact Award for Basic/Clinical Research
Dr. Stephen Lloyd is a molecular biologist and expert in DNA damage and repair mechanisms. Professor Lloyd is the associate director for basic research at the Institute and holds an appointment in OHSU’s School of Medicine.
Lloyd’s research has contributed to our understanding of the role of DNA repair enzymes in the onset of diseases, including skin and liver cancer, metabolic syndrome, and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. Discoveries made in the Lloyd-McCullough Laboratory have direct implications for developing novel therapeutics for genetic diseases and have resulted in the filing of several patent applications and the launch of a biotech startup company, Luciole Pharmaceuticals.
Discoveries with a direct through line to public impact include the role of the DNA repair enzyme OGG1 in modulating obesity in mice. Professor Lloyd and colleagues have found that the OGG1 DNA repair enzyme is critical in regulating weight gain in laboratory studies. The discovery could one day lead to the development of therapeutics for treating obesity in human populations. Lloyd’s research team is also studying the NEIL1 DNA repair enzyme and how deficiencies of NEIL1 could contribute to the initiation of certain liver cancers associated with chronic dietary exposure to fungal toxins. Additionally, Lloyd’s research on DNA repair enzymes has led to the development and testing of topical compounds to repair DNA damage in skin cells caused by UV radiation.
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Researchers at the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences are committed to improving the workforce’s safety, health, and well-being. We achieve this aim by pursuing new knowledge and a greater understanding of the issues facing workers here in Oregon and beyond and translating research discoveries into practical solutions. The Impact Awards for Applied and Basic/Clinical Research recognize our outstanding faculty members and their contributions to the occupational sciences. Please join us in congratulating the inaugural recipients of these prestigious awards, Drs. Leslie Hammer and Stephen Lloyd.