Dr. Laura Punnett

Centre for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace

Dr Laura Punnett is an occupational ergonomist and epidemiologist, a professor and acting chair of Biomedical Engineering 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 a co-founder 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. Her research experience includes assessment of physical and psychosocial stressors in the work environment; quantification of exposure-response relationships for several physical, mental health and employment outcomes; the role of working conditions in socioeconomic disparities and gender differences in health; and the effectiveness of workplace safety and health programs.

Within CPH-NEW, Punnett’s work has also been oriented toward examining the interaction of work organization with non-occupational factors, especially in the healthcare workforce. Her team has developed a definition and scientific justification of TWH that emphasizes the design, implementation and evaluation of participatory workplace interventions.

Photo of Laura Punnett