Earlier this week, Dr. John Howard, Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announced that, effective October 6, 2014, Chuck Geraci, Ph.D., CIH, has been appointed NIOSH Associate Director for Nanotechnology. NIOSH states: “As Associate Director for Nanotechnology, Dr. Geraci will ensure that NIOSH maintains its outstanding national and international reputation for scientific achievement in the emerging area of nanotechnology implications for workers. He will also develop initial strategies for NIOSH to participate scientifically in the growing areas of advanced nano-manufacturing technology, advanced nanomaterial science, and in the new challenges arising from the rapid trend of converging technologies.” Dr. Geraci first worked for NIOSH from 1975 through 1987, leaving to work in the private sector. He returned to NIOSH in 2004 from the Procter and Gamble Company and served as the Chief of the Education and Information Division (EID) Document Development Branch until he assumed his current job of Nanotechnology Research Center (NTRC) Coordinator. As Chief of the EID Document Development Branch, he was instrumental in launching several key initiatives such as Prevention-though-Design, Skin Hazard Notations, and the Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) derivation. Over the past three years, Dr. Geraci has represented NIOSH on two key committees with the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) -- the U.S. Subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) and the Nanotechnology Environmental and Health Implications (NEHI) Working Group. He was instrumental in having NIOSH contributions to worker safety and health included in both the U.S. NNI Strategic Plan and the NEHI Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Research Strategy. In addition to his work with the NNI, Dr. Geraci has been very successful in developing many partnerships with private companies involved in the development of nanomaterial processes and products, and extending these partnerships across NIOSH.
Dr. Geraci’s appointment is good news to the growing advanced manufacturing activity in the U.S., and it is encouraging to see that Chuck will be involved in the responsible growth on this next and natural progression of the use of nanomaterial science. Over the past eight years, Chuck has provided expert guidance to NIOSH and multiple private sector partners that has allowed them to understand the challenges and strategies needed to develop and introduce nanomaterial-enabled products safely and responsibly that will ultimately benefit society. Many of us who have worked with Chuck appreciate his ability to understand the complexities of launching a new technology in the private sector and the intricacies involved with the many aspects of government involvement, ranging from research to regulatory issues. Throughout the entire process, Chuck has been a source of good, science-based information, and assistance always offered quickly. Enthusiastically, and with good cheer. In many ways, this action demonstrates the strong desire NIOSH has to continue conducting research and working with the private sector to promote the safe and responsible development of nanomaterial science. All of us wish Dr. Geraci much success in his new assignment as the NIOSH Associate Director for Nanotechnology!