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Prolepsis was founded by academics in response to increasing constraints placed by universities on the creation of knowledge that matters. We are driven by the desire to generate high-quality, applied scholarship free from restrictive institutional expectations generated by administrators’ growing fealty to ever growing compliance regulations.

We are committed to the pursuit of population health, safety, and wellbeing research with an emphasis on underserved and vulnerable populations and communities. Our work is fueled by our passion for social justice by way of lessening health and safety gaps among and within different populations through effective public policy design, health systems strengthening, and lasting structural changes.

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Prolepsis is guided by its mission to have a positive impact on social structures, systems, and policies that can equitably and sustainably enable healthier and safer living and work environments. We aim to achieve this mission by using both traditional and novel research epistemologies and methodologies to provide empirical evidence regarding persistent health and safety challenges and inequities experienced by disadvantaged and vulnerable populations.

Our Vision

Prolepsis envisions a society in which people have a healthier, safer, more productive, and more meaningful working life. Our personal contribution to seeing this unfold is through empirical research, education, and consulting that: (a) fully integrate holistic scientific perspectives, including next-generation science; (b) never compromise rigor and integrity; (c) are always inclusive, innovative, and relevant; and (d) remain anchored in the importance of public and corporate policies as well as the continual strengthening of social and health systems.

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Prolepsis aims to contribute to the advancement of population and occupational health and safety research, education, and consulting. We are, thus, committed to the cultivation, development, and ongoing expansion and support of new ideas and perspectives. Our work is grounded in the synthesis of established and emerging epistemologies, theories, methodologies, and analytical techniques. We strive to achieve healthier, safer, more equitable, and more sustainable working lives for all populations.

Yorghos Apostolopoulos, Ph.D.
Yorghos Apostolopoulos, Ph.D.
Senior Population Health and Safety Scientist  

Yorghos Apostolopoulos has extensive research experience at universities in the U.S. and abroad. His work converges at the nexus of social epidemiology, occupational health and safety, and health policy, with an emphasis on the reduction of health and safety disparities along socioeconomic, occupational, and geographic lines. He advocates for the integration of holistic epistemologies, including complexity, network, and exposome sciences, in mainstream population and occupational health and safety sciences. He is the lead editor of Population Mobility and Infectious Disease and Complex Systems and Population Health: A Primer, and co/author of numerous scientific articles.

Sevil Sönmez, Ph.D.
Sevil Sönmez, Ph.D.
Senior Occupational Health and Safety Scientist  

Sevil Sönmez conducts applied, interdisciplinary research that delves into interconnections of work, leisure, and population health. Her work examines adverse health and safety consequences of occupational and leisure mobility, occupational health and safety of commercial drivers, health and safety of tourism and hospitality sector workers, and reduction of travel/tourism’s adverse health effects and promotion of its health benefits. Her publications appear in journals of tourism and hospitality, health and social sciences, and business. She is the coeditor of three books, including Population Mobility and Infectious Disease.

Yu Chin (Jerrie) Hsieh, Ph.D.
Yu Chin (Jerrie) Hsieh, Ph.D.
Senior Hospitality Researcher
Occupational Health and Safety Trainer  

Jerrie Hsieh is involved in research geared toward helping decision-makers improve employee health, wellbeing, and quality of life, thus increasing operational performance and productivity. Her experience in working with immigrant and minority workers fuels her devotion towards research with vulnerable and underserved workers. Her research explores pressing health and safety problems in the workplace, offers solutions, and safeguards workers’ health and wellbeing. Her research has been published in social and health sciences, hospitality and tourism, and management journals. She was an active trainer in her industry career, involved in designing and conducting hotel employee training programs.

Lazaros Gallos
Lazaros Gallos
PhD: Physics
MS: Physics
BS: Computer Science   Profile  

Dr. Gallos is an Associate Director at the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS), and a Research Professor at Rutgers University. At DIMACS, he is the current Director of the long-running summer REU program – Research Experiences for Undergraduates – on Computer Science and Mathematics. He received his PhD at the University of Thessaloniki, Greece, in Computational Physics. His research interests cover a broad range of problems in complex systems and interdisciplinary applications. His main contributions are on complex network dynamics, epidemics, and information spreading with emphasis on behavior in social networks. He has established many inter-disciplinary collaborations with colleagues from mathematical biology, population health, sociology, neuroscience, etc. He is member of the editorial board of the Nature Scientific Reports, PLOS One, and Entropy journals, and he has been an Editor for the highly selective journal Physical Review X. He is the recipient of the lifetime award for Outstanding Referee from the American Physical Society and has been recognized four times as a European Physical Society Distinguished Referee.

Matthew S. Thiese
Matthew S. Thiese
PhD: Occupational Injury Prevention
MSPH: General Public Health
BS: Exercise and Sport Science   Profile   LinkedIn  

Dr. Thiese is an Occupational Epidemiologist and his work focuses on the overlap between a person’s job and their health. This includes everything from musculoskeletal disorders like Low Back Pain or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, to motor vehicle crashes, to COVID-19, to mental well-being. He is interested in identification of potential risk factors, interventions to prevent injury or illness, evidence-based practice for both treatment and prevention, and assessments of worker health and safety fitness-for-duty. Dr. Thiese has coauthored 140 articles, 34 practice guidelines and 10 book chapters. He has mentored 24 PhD and Masters Students, and teaches 4 courses and has extensive experience in designing and conducting both epidemiologic and interventional research. He has worked with first responders, healthcare providers, manufacturing, hotel housekeepers, construction and transportation workers, including research-analyzing relationships between driver health and subsequent crashes in a retrospective cohort of 90,000 drivers. He has been part of multiple large prospective cohort studies evaluating relationships between musculoskeletal disorders and both job and personal factors.

A Blueprint for a New Commercial Driving Epidemiology: An Emerging Paradigm Grounded in Integrative Exposome and Network Epistemologies
Apostolopoulos, Y., Sönmez, S., Thiese, M.S., Olufemi, M. and L.K. Gallos (2024) WORKING PAPER SERIES.

The Indispensable Whole of Work and Population Health: How the Working Life Exposome can Advance Empirical Research, Policy, and Action
Apostolopoulos, Y., Sönmez, S., Thiese, M.S., and L.K. Gallos (2023). Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment, and Health.
PubMed   DOI   Link   PDF

Effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection among frontline workers before and during B. 1.617. 2 (Delta) variant predominance—eight US locations, December 2020–August 2021
Fowlkes, A., Gaglani, M., Groover, K., Thiese, M.S., Tyner, H., Ellingson, K. and Cohorts, H.R., 2021. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 70(34), p.1167.
PubMed   DOI  

Metabolic syndrome in commercial truck drivers: prevalence, associated factors, and comparison with the general population.
Robbins, R.B., Thiese, M.S., Ott, U., Wood, E.M., Effiong, A., Murtaugh, M., Kapellusch, J., Cheng, M. and Hegmann, K., 2020. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 62(7), pp.453-459
PubMed   DOI  

The association between cardiovascular disease risk factors and motor vehicle crashes among professional truck drivers
Ronna, B.B., Thiese, M.S., Ott, U., Effiong, A., Murtaugh, M., Kapellusch, J., Garg, A. and Hegmann, K., 2016. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine/American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 58(8), p.828.
PubMed   DOI  

Commercial driver medical examinations: prevalence of obesity, comorbidities, and certification outcomes.
Thiese, M.S., Moffitt, G., Hanowski, R.J., Kales, S.N., Porter, R.J. and Hegmann, K.T., 2015. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 57(6), p.659.
PubMed   DOI  

Biomechanical risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome: a pooled study of 2474 workers
Harris-Adamson, C., Eisen, E.A., Kapellusch, J., Garg, A., Hegmann, K.T., Thiese, M.S., Dale, A.M., Evanoff, B., Burt, S., Bao, S. and Silverstein, B., 2015. Occupational and environmental medicine, 72(1), pp.33-41.
PubMed   DOI  

Observational and interventional study design types; an overview
Thiese, M.S., 2014. Biochemia medica, 24(2), pp.199-210.
PubMed   DOI  

Prevalence and incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome in US working populations: pooled analysis of six prospective studies
Dale, A.M., Harris-Adamson, C., Rempel, D., Gerr, F., Hegmann, K., Silverstein, B., Burt, S., Garg, A., Kapellusch, J., Merlino, L. and Thiese, M.S., 2013. Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health, 39(5), p.495.
PubMed   DOI  

Characterization of indoor air contaminants in a randomly selected set of commercial nail salons in Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Alaves, V.M., Sleeth, D.K., Thiese, M.S. and Larson, R.R., 2013. International journal of environmental health research, 23(5), pp.419-433.

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Prolepsis is always interested in learning about both new and seasoned researchers for possible collaborations on ongoing and future research projects. We are also seeking enthusiastic, highly motivated graduate students to get involved in our research and expand their knowledge and experience. We are primarily interested in individuals with some combination of the following areas of interest and expertise:

  • Social epidemiology
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Organizational psychology
  • Health policy
  • Sociology and social psychology of health
  • Injury epidemiology
  • Chronic disease epidemiology
  • Human factors and ergonomics
  • Network analysis
  • Data science and machine learning
  • Simulation modeling methodologies
  • Bioinformatics
  • Other next-generation scientific advances

While Prolepsis has no available positions at this time, interested individuals are encouraged to contact us at

Prolepsis: Partners in Prevention, Inc. is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other legally protected status.