During Women’s History Month, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will highlight several female researchers and their contributions to NIOSH and America’s workers.
Christine M. Branche, Ph.D., is the Director of the NIOSH Office of Construction Safety and Health. Dr. Branche began her career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1996 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. In 2007, Dr. Branche joined NIOSH. She served as the delegated federal official for the White House-appointed Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health which advises the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on guidelines for the likelihood of individual cancers, and on the scientific validity and quality of dose reconstruction activities at NIOSH.
Since its inception in 2009, Dr. Branche has served as Director of the NIOSH Office of Construction Safety and Health. The Office is responsible for addressing the unique safety and health issues facing the construction sector. The office coordinates NIOSH construction safety and health research, collaborates with the NIOSH-funded national construction center, and collaborates with university-based and other external researchers. Dr. Branche is also the manager for the Construction Sector Program of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA).
Dr. Branche has conducted extensive research and program development in injury prevention including drowning, water recreation, fire-related injury prevention, falls among both construction workers and older adults, motor vehicle-related injury prevention, spinal cord injuries, and sports and recreation. She has authored many scientific publications, including many which uncover new problems in injury control. Dr. Branche has received numerous awards for her research and leadership including CDC’s Supervisor of the Year in 2003. Dr. Branche has provided technical consultation to many U.S. and international organizations including the American Red Cross, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the National Football League.
Dr. Branche received her B.A. in biology from the University of Rochester in New York, and her M.S.P.H. and Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During her coursework at UNC, she was a National Science Foundation Fellow.
Currently, Dr. Branche is a fellow in the American College of Epidemiology, a member of its Board of Directors, and chairs its Membership Committee. She is also a Public Health Leadership Institute scholar. She serves on the Fire Council of Underwriters Laboratory.