H. Rodney Withers (September 21, 1932 - February 25, 2015)
Former RRS President
H. Rodney (Rod) Withers was an Australian radiation biologist and radiation oncologist, and long-time member of the Radiation Research Society. He made many contributions to the fields of radiobiology and clinical radiation therapy, but he is best known for his work on post-radiation tissue repair and the effects of ionizing radiation on normal tissues. It is with profound sadness that the family and friends of H. Rodney Withers M.D., D.Sc. announce his death on February 25, 2015. There will be a memorial in his honor at noon on the first day of spring, March 20, 2015 at the Bradshaw Carter Memorial and Funeral Home located at 1734 W Alabama St, Houston, TX 77098.
Rod was born in Queensland, Australia. He received his medical degree from the University of Queensland and his PhD and DSc from the University of London. He had worked at the Gray Laboratory in England, the National Cancer Institute, the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, and at UCLA where he served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology.
Rod served the Radiation Research Society for many years, beginning with his term as Councilor of Medicine 1976-1979, proceeding into President–Elect 1981-1982, then President 1982-1983, and completing his service as Past-President 1983-1984. Rod was awarded the Failla Award in 1988. In addition, Rod was a councilor to IARR from 1987-1991, representing RRS.
In his President’s page from the RRS Presidents Book, Rod detailed his main contribution to the Radiation Research Society: “In retrospect, I consider my main contribution as president was to nominate Bill Osborne as the historian for the society, not only because such a position is uncommon in larger societies, but also because it was such a good choice of person. His archives of photographs, his exhibits at annual meetings and his articles in the newsletter have helped maintain the friendly esprit that is a hallmark of the RRS. Finally, although we left council meetings with furrowed brows, it was a lot of fun, and I imagine easier and less stressful being president in 1982 than now.”
Rod Withers’ dedication and contributions to the Radiation Research Society for many years were “as plain as the nose on his face” - From his Kaplan Award Lecture at the 1991 International Congress of Radiation Research.