Associate Professor of Risk AnalysisCore Faculty - Ohio State Sustainability InstituteSenior Lecturer - College of Medicine, Griffith UniversityDirector - Ecology Epidemiology and Population Health Program, Infectious Disease Institute
"If there is one thing I've learned in my years on this planet, it's that the happiest and most fulfilled people I've known are those who devoted themselves to something bigger and more profound than merely their own self-interest." — John Glenn
"There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will.” — Epictetus
"A life in service of something greater — focusing on the positive improvements and better virtues of our species — that is a well-constructed career." — Mark H. Weir
weir [dot] 95osu [dot] edu
What is the biggest risk to your health? What about that pipe your drinking water is coming through? What happens to your health from simultaneous exposures to lead, UV radiation, and harmful bacteria? Humans, and the infrastructure we use are exposed to multiple hazards all the time. My lab the Engineering Better Decisions Laboratory is investigating how risks stack in complex systems under multiple exposures. Our research is focused on a boundary science between Operations Research and Risk Analysis.
I'm an Environmental Engineer interested in how we make operations and design decisions based on infrastructure and health risks. Our current methods are good at assessing the risks from individual hazards, the EBD Laboratory is working to learn more about risks in this more complex, yet realistic space of multiple exposures to multiple hazards. We do this via computational modeling and some bench science to understand where these risks come from based on the fundamental processes that generate them. Therefore, some of the questions we investigate revolve around the microbial ecologies where pathogens (harmful microorganisms) can survive and thrive; how these effect both health risks and health benefits to humans; how do materials choices for infrastructure either make the risks to infrastructure and humans better or worse? Specifically we work on:
- How to advance Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) methods.
- Stochastic methods for exposure and risk characterization
- Improving the the integration of EITS and QMRA
- Integration of microbial ecology/microbiome methods and results in exposure modeling
- Systems and operations models for exposure in engineered systems.
- What makes water and indoor air infrastructure healthy or unhealthy?
- What low-cost improved treatment is needed for safer indoor plumbing design and operation?
- How do we make better infrastructure decisions in dynamic changing systems?
I earned my BS in Environmental Engineering from Wilkes University in 2004, specializing in water treatment and hydraulics. Through international contracting and domestic consulting work I recognized the need to advance the understanding of health protection and cultural appropriateness of engineering technologies. Through this interest I sought out the mentorship of Dr. Charles N. Haas, and in doing so, earned my Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Drexel University in 2009. My dissertation was focused on counter bioterror research, particularly and advanced dose response for inhalation anthrax.
Under Dr. Haas' mentorship I learned risk modeling methods, dose response modeling, and improved my engineering modeling and analysis skills. For my post-doctoral research, I sought out Dr. Joan B. Rose at Michigan State University. Here I further developed my risk modeling and health analytics skills. I re-engaged in my first professional passion - water research. Through work with Chuck and Joan, I developed my international reputation in risk modeling and analyses of engineered and natural systems.
QMRA – quantitative microbial risk assessment; Complex systems modeling and analytics; Health effect optimization through environmental and engineering controls; Water treatment technology and policy; Uncertainty in decision analyses
Mraz, A.L. Weir,M.H. (2018) Knowledge to Predict Pathogens: Legionella pneumophila Lifecycle Critical Review Part I Uptake into Host Cells. Water. 102:132
Hamilton, K.A., Chen, A., Johnson, E.dG., Gitter, A., Kozak, A., Niquice, C., Zimmer-Faust, A.G., Weir,M.H., Mitchell, J., Gurian, P. (2018) Salmonella risks due to consumption of aquaculture-produced shrimp. Microbial Risk Analysis.
Weir,M.H., Mraz, A.L., Nappier, S., Haas, C.N. (2018) Dose Response Models for Eastern, Western and Venezuelan Encephalitis Viruses in Mice - Part II: Quantiﬁcation of the Eﬀects of Host Age on the Dose Response. Microbial Risk Assessment.
Rosen MB, Pokhrel LR, Weir MH. A discussion about public health, lead and Legionella pneumophila in drinking water supplies in the United States. Sci Total Environ. 2017 Jul 15;590-591:843-852. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.02.164. Epub 2017 Mar 10.
Brouwer AF, Weir MH, Eisenberg MC, Meza R, Eisenberg JNS. Dose-response relationships for environmentally mediated infectious disease transmission models. PLoS Comput Biol. 2017 Apr 7;13(4):e1005481. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005481. eCollection 2017 Apr.
Hamilton KA, Weir MH, Haas CN. Dose response models and a quantitative microbial risk assessment framework for the Mycobacterium avium complex that account for recent developments in molecular biology, taxonomy, and epidemiology. Water Res. 2017 Feb 1;109:310-326. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2016.11.053. Epub 2016 Nov 24. Review.
Weir,M.H., Mitchell, J., Flynn, W.K., Pope, J.M. (2017) Development of a Microbial Dose Response Visualization and Modeling Application for QMRA Modelers and Educators. Environmental Modeling and Software. 88: 74-83
Weir,M.H., Shibata, T., Masago, Y., Cologgi, D., Rose, J.B. (2016) Eﬀect of Surface Sampling and Recovery of Viruses and Non-Spore-Forming Bacteria on a Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment Model for Fomites Environmental Science and Technology. 50(11): 5945-5952