Painter Debate: Saturday, September 19th
This House Believes That Radiation Does Not Offer Any Carcinogenic Risk to Astronauts


Pro Stance: Dr. Doug Boreham
Dr. Doug Boreham, along with his team of graduate students and technicians conduct cutting-edge research looking at the biological and health effects of low doses of ionizing radiation. They investigate radiation effects at the microscopic level: cell cultures and DNA changes; and also at the macroscopic level: longevity and cancer. The Boreham Group has three licensed laboratories located in the HLLF to carry out radiation biology research. They are privileged to a suite of state-of-the-art radiation facilities on the McMaster University campus, and make extensive use of the Taylor Source for moderately low dose radiation exposures, as well as radioisotopes produced in the reactor. A significant part of the Boreham Group’s research is striving to definitively answer questions on what effects radiological diagnostic procedures might have on exposed humans. Other research projects conducted by the Boreham Group include investigating the role of radiation-induced free radicals in affecting mutation sensitivity as well as determining genetic modifications in stem cells following radiation exposure. Much of the research conducted to date strongly suggests the existence of protective biological effects from low doses of radiation, in contrast with the “known” harmful effects of large radiation doses.


Con Stance: Michael Weil
Michael M. Weil, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences at Colorado State University. Prior to joining the CSU faculty he received his doctorate in Microbiology from the University of Texas, did post-doctoral work in cancer genetics and radiation biology in the Departments of Biochemistry and Experimental Radiation Oncology (ERO) at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and served on the ERO faculty. Dr. Weil’s research interests include the role of genetic background in determining individual susceptibility to radiation-induced cancers and investigation of the mechanisms underlying radiation carcinogenesis. He has conducted several large-scale mouse carcinogenesis studies of HZE ion radiation.
Plenary Lecture I: Saturday, September 19th

Thomas M. Orlando, Ph.D.
is a Professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Adjunct Professor  in the School of  Physics at Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT). He serves as the Associate Director of GIT’s Center for Space Technology and Research (CSTAR) and the Strategic Energy Institute (SEI). He also currently serves as one of the Editors of the European Journal of Physics D, Atomic, Molecular, Optical and Plasma Physics and is on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Chemical Physics.

He has pioneered and developed techniques to study low-energy electron- and photon-stimulated reactions at heterogeneous surfaces and interfaces. These reactions occur in non-equilibrium plasmas, radiation storage facilities, planetary magnetospheres and star forming regions. He has contributed to the understanding of low-energy electron induced damage of low-temperature ice, radiation processing of comets, asteroids and icy planets as well as damage of  DNA and RNA. His most recent work is on the chemical origins of RNA and has concentrated on the formation and destruction of nucleosides, nucleotides and sugars in space and on early Earth. He is an Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2004) and an Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, (2003). He has coauthored over 125 peer-reviewed articles on non-thermal and non-equilibrium processes.

Failla Award Lecture: Saturday, September 19th
  Albert Fornace, Jr., MD
Albert J. Fornace Jr., MD, is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology at Georgetown University, and is the first recipient of the Molecular Cancer Research Chair at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Before joining Georgetown in 2006, he was the director of the John B. Little Center for the Radiation Sciences and Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. Previously he led the Gene Response Section at NCI.

He is an internationally recognized expert in stress-signaling mechanisms and is in the top 0.5% of cited authors in the life sciences. He was also ranked in the top 30 cell-cycle researchers ( while at NCI. His research has encompassed many areas of cell and tissue injury with particular relevance to radiobiology, as well as to toxicology, carcinogenesis, genomic instability, and immune diseases.

Osborne Award Lecture (Plenary II): Sunday, September 20th
  Marie-Catherine Vozenin
Specialist in translational research in Radiotherapy, Dr MC Vozenin heads the Radiobiology laboratory of the CHUV, Oncology Department, Lausanne, Switzerland since January 2013. Her research group now in Lausanne was initially located at Institut Gustave Roussy, InsermU1030 in France and develops novel approaches to enhance Radiation Therapy therapeutic index, from the combination with biotherapies to medical innovation using novel modalities of irradiation. Dr MC Vozenin first research axis investigates the physiopathological and molecular basis of the complications of radiotherapy. This work started more than 15 years ago and her pioneer work on the Rho/ROCK pathway provided the biological basis for transfer of a new anti-fibrotic strategy into the clinic. Her project now focuses on thorax complication of radiotherapy i) lung fibrosis and ii) heart toxicities. The second is an innovative axis of research in radiation therapy field and involves a novel radiotherapy modality using ultra high dose rate. The third studied the radio-sensitivity of HPV-positive tumors has also lead to two clinical trials out of the research performed in her lab.
Michael Fry Research Award Lecture: Sunday, September 20th
  Ester Hammond
Dr Ester Hammond is a Cancer Research UK Senior Group Leader and an Associate Professor at the CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology within the Department of Oncology at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on DNA damage signalling pathways and the tumour micro-environment. Dr Hammond has a BSc (Hons) in Molecular Biology from the University of Manchester and completed her PhD at the CRC Institute for Cancer Studies within the University of Birmingham. She then accepted a post as a postdoctoral fellow within the Molecular Oncology Group at the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine before moving to the USA to join the Department of Radiation Oncology at Stanford University, first as a postdoctoral fellow then a research associate.

Dr Hammond took up her current post in Oxford in 2007 and was presented with The ESTRO-Varian Juliana Denekamp Award 2011 for "having demonstrated excellence and passion for biologically driven cancer research for radiation oncology". She is a member of several professional organisations including the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO), the Association for Radiation Research (ARR), the Clinical and Translational Radiotherapy Research Working Group (CTRad), and the British Institute of Radiology (BIR). She has authored or co-authored over 30 publications and been invited to present her work at national and international conferences.

Marie Curie Award Lecture: Sunday, September 20th
  Natsuko Miura
A native of Kyoto, Japan, Dr. Natsuko Miura earned her BS in Applied Microbiology and her PhD in Molecular Biology from Kyoto University. During her graduate studies in the laboratory of Dr. Mitsuyoshi Ueda, she investigated the spatial reorganization of metabolic enzymes in S. cerevisiae as one of the causes for accelerated glycolysis under hypoxic conditions. She also worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Takashi Nakagawa at University of Toyama, studying the incorporation and metabolism of NAD precursors in response to oxidative stress.

She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Radiation Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute, studying real-time cancer cell metabolism in response to radiation therapy utilizing 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. She would like to thank her current mentor, Dr. Aparna Kesarwala, as well as Dr. Murali Krishna, Dr. James Mitchell, Dr. Kevin Camphausen, and her colleagues at the NCI for their support. She is greatly honored to receive the Marie Curie Award and would like to express her gratitude to the Radiation Research Society.

Plenary Lecture III: Monday, September 21st

Randall N. Hyer, MD, PhD, MPH
Dr. Randall N. Hyer is one of the world’s foremost experts on risk and crisis communication. Dr. Hyer is board-certified public health physician. He is also Deputy Director of the Center for Risk Communication, a risk and crisis communication research institution based in New York City.

Dr. Hyer earned his MD from Duke and trained at Walter Reed Hospital and Harvard. He was awarded his PhD from the University of Oxford where he studied genetics. His studies won him the National Institutes of Health (NIH) "Outstanding Research Award for Clinical Trainees" and are widely cited. He also served as a US Congressional Fellow for Senator Pete V. Domenici (R. -NM). Dr. Hyer helped introduce legislation to safeguard genetic privacy that eventually became the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA) of 2008.

Dr. Hyer graduated with Distinction from the US Naval Academy. Rising to the rank of Commander, he served 12 years naval service supporting 4 major military combat operations. His humanitarian service includes being Chief Public Health Advisor for the Kosovo relief operations and the Deputy Surgeon for the Mozambique flood relief effort. Dr. Hyer also served as the Winter-Over Medical Officer at the McMurdo and South Pole Stations, Antarctica. Dr. Hyer served as the first Civil Military Liaison Officer at the World Health Organization in Geneva from 2001 to 2005. Among other duties, he facilitated the WHO respond to various crises including those related to disease outbreaks, radiation releases, tsunamis, and earthquakes.

Dr. Hyer is the co-author with Dr. Vincent T. Covello of the highly popular WHO handbook, “Effective Media Communication during Public Health Emergencies: A World Health Organization Handbook.” During the recent Ebola crisis, Drs. Hyer and Covello supported the crisis management and communication efforts of the World Health Organization, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and Medicines sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders). Working with key State Health Officials, Dr. Hyer is also the co-author with Dr. Covello of the popular book titled “Top Questions About Ebola: Simple Answers.”

   Plenary Lecture IV: Tuesday, September 22nd

Silvia C. Formenti, MD
Dr. Formenti is Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at NYU since 1999. She is also the Associate Director of the NYU Cancer Institute and co-Leader of the Breast Cancer Research Program. A prolific researcher, she has published over 170 papers recognized by high impact journals like JAMA, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research,  International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics, etc.

Dr. Formenti has led a research team at NYU to test in breast cancer the role of  accelerated radiotherapy in the  prone position, initially funded in 2001 by a DOD IDEA grant. This approach is practice-changing and has impacted the management of breast cancer. During the past twelve years Dr. Formenti has introduced a paradigm shift in radiation biology, by elucidating the role of ionizing radiation on the immune system, and demonstrating efficacy of combining radiotherapy with immunotherapy in solid tumors. To conduct  this research she has been funded by grants from NIH, DOD and BCRF. This work has opened a new field of application for radiotherapy, whereby localized radiation can be used as an adjuvant to immunotherapy of solid tumors and lymphomas.

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