Dr. Laura Punnett
Centre for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace
Dr Laura Punnett is a professor of epidemiology and occupational ergonomics at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and co-director of the Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace (CPH-NEW), one of the first National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Centers for Excellence in Total Worker Health® (TWH). She was also one of the founders of the university's Department of Work Environment in 1987.
Punnett's research career began with a focus on work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in relation to physical job features. Building on that experience, her research expanded to include assessment of physical and psychosocial stressors in the work environment; quantification of exposure-response relationships for a variety of health outcomes; the role of working conditions in socioeconomic disparities and gender differences in health; and the effectiveness of workplace intervention programs for worker safety and health.
Since the creation of CPH-NEW in 2006, Punnett’s work has also been oriented toward the use of mixed methods to examine work organization and interactions with non-occupational factors for MSD, mental health and employment outcomes. Her team has focused especially on developing a definition and scientific justification of TWH that emphasizes the design, implementation and evaluation of participatory workplace interventions.