Dr. James A. Merchant, professor of occupational and environmental health and founding dean of the University of Iowa College of Public Health, has been appointed chair of the review committee at the Health Effects Institute (HEI).
HEI is an independent, non-profit research organization funded by government and industry to provide credible, high quality science on air pollution and health. The HEI Review Committee — external reviewers representing the fields of medicine, epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental engineering, and environmental health — works with HEI staff to evaluate and interpret results of the organization’s funded studies. The committee’s opinions are published with HEI reports in the form of a critique or commentary.
Dr. Merchant is a nationally known expert on occupational and environmental health, rural health, and public health policy. His research interests include the epidemiology and prevention of childhood asthma, environmental health science, occupational medicine, rural and public health policy, and rural and occupational health.
Throughout his career, Dr. Merchant has advocated for workplace safety, for example, by raising awareness of the hazards in rural and agricultural settings, which has advanced the prevention of workplace injuries. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academies. At the National Research Council, he has served on the Committee on Non-Occupational Health Risks of Asbestiform Fibers and the NIOSH Respiratory Disease Research Review, and he has been a member of numerous other committees and panels.