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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Human System Integration
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

BOHSI Member Spotlight
William S. Marras, Ph.D., BOHSI Chair (2006-2011)
Honda Endowed Chair
Director, Biodynamics Laboratory
Institute for Ergonomics
Ohio State University

In this first iteration of a regular newsletter feature to introduce the members of BOHSI, we place the spotlight on Dr. Marras, who has served as the Chair of BOHSI (formerly COHSI) since 2006.
What is your current position and area of research?
Honda Professor and Director, Biodynamics Laboratory. My research focuses on low back disorder causality and treatment.

What led you to this field of research?

As an undergrad I was a student athlete who was also an engineering student. I tried to figure out how to use engineering techniques to improve my performance and reduce injuries. This led me to this field.

What has been the biggest change in human-systems integration during your career?

The move towards systems thinking. We used to think about our “silos” of specialties. Now we think about the interaction between the silos, and we are rapidly moving toward understanding the entire person system.

What do you enjoy most about being the chair of BOHSI?

I enjoy having in-depth discussions with a group of very smart people who are looking at the world from different perspectives.

What is the most important thing you would like to see human-systems integration achieve in the next 10 years?

Understand the mind body connection much better.

What is your favorite book of all time?

The Secret History of the War on Cancer
(Davis, 2007).

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