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News & Press: SIT Newsletter

SIT Newsletter: November 2018

Monday, November 12, 2018  
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November 2018
ICRR Registration Opens

January 1, 2019
Membership Auto-Renewals for 2019

Research Associate
Mantra Bio
San Francisco, CA
Analytical Chemist
Mantra Bio
San Francisco, CA
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Texas at MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX
Single Cell Bioinformatician
Berkely Lights, Inc
Emeryville, CA

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track)
Rutgers University, New Jersey Medical School
New Jersey

Postdoctoral Fellow
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, TX

ESTRO Meets Asia 2018
December 7-9, 2018
2019 Radiosurgery Society Annual Scientific Meeting
San Diego, CA
March 21-23, 2019
ESTRO 38 Annual Conference
Milan, Italy
April 26-30, 2019
16th International Congress on Radiation Research
Manchester, UK
August 25-29, 2019
65th Annual RRS Meeting
San Diego, CA
November 3-6, 2019
5th International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection
Adelaide, Australia
November 19-21, 2019
Tien Tang- Biology

Jason Domogauer- Medicine
Nicholas Colangelo -Medicine/Biology
James McEvoy - Biology
Ryan Jonathan Wei - Medicine
Jade Moore- Multidisciplinary
Britta Langen- Biology
Brian Canter- Biology

Dear SIT Members,
I am excited to be writing my first SIT newsletter as Vice-Chair of the SIT committee! For those who do not know me, my name is Jason Domogauer. I have three cats (one away from a crazy cat lady); however, my husband and I will be adding a puppy to our family in the spring, so we will certainly have a full house soon! Joking, aside. I completed my Ph.D. under the dual-mentorship of Drs. Edouard Azzam and Rogers Howell at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. My thesis was focused on exploring the role of cancer-associated fibroblasts within the tumor microenvironment following exposure to ionizing radiation. As an apparent glutton for education, I also completed my M.D. at Rutgers. Currently I am in my 15th year at Rutgers (I know!) as an internal medicine intern, but will be leaving next year for NYU as a future radiation oncology resident.

Ok, now that the formalities are over. I would like to echo Tien’s October newsletter in hoping that all who attended this year’s RRS meeting had a wonderful and productive time! I was truly saddened to not be able to attend this year’s meeting, but I am looking forward to next year! The SIT committee has already begun planning for 2019 by reflecting upon and evaluating your comments; so, keep the responses to the SIT survey coming! TAKE ME TO THE SURVEY!

Remember, the SIT committee works for YOU, the SIT community, therefore your input is vital in informing us on what is working and what change(s) you would like to see for the future. If you would like to take a more active role within RRS, then join us as an SIT committee member!

If you are interested, please send the following documents by November 16th:
● Letter of intent (i.e., tell us why you are interested in being part of the SIT committee)
● CV

We are also on Facebook! Check out the SIT Facebook group.

Jason Domogauer
SIT Committee Vice-Chair
In last month’s newsletter, I documented Dr. Edward Calabrese’s recent testimony at a Senate subcommittee hearing titled “Oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Implementation of Sound and Transparent Science in Regulation.”

This followed Dr. Calabrese’s appearance in an April press release by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While the EPA press release made no mention of the linear no- threshold (LNT) model, Dr. Calabrese responded to the EPA’s proposal for increased transparency, writing “The proposal represents a major scientific step forward by recognizing the widespread occurrence of non-linear dose responses in toxicology and epidemiology for chemicals and radiation and the need to incorporate such data in the risk assessment process.”

Crucially there have been substantial changes in leadership at the EPA since April. Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned in July and was replaced by Andrew Wheeler, who is still serving in an interim role. I would like to clarify the EPA’s position on the LNT as well as understand the impact of the EPA’s science transparency initiative on its radiation protection guidelines. In addition, I hope to learn more about why the EPA has been soliciting input from Dr. Calabrese. I have drafted a letter for the director of the Radiation Protection Division, Edward Veal. If you believe that we as SITs and as members of RRS deserve to hear from the EPA’s Radiation Protection Division, please sign onto the letter using this form.

"Dear Director Veal,

We are a group of graduate students, medical students, and post-doctoral researchers in the Radiation Research Society (RRS). Recently, we met at our annual meeting in Chicago and were spectators to a wondrous debate concerning the applicability of the linear no-threshold model when it comes to radiation protection.

In April the Environmental Protection Agency quoted Dr. Edward Calabrese in a press release announcing a new commitment to scientific transparency for the Agency’s regulations. Dr. Calabrese’s quote struck a different tone when he indicated the proposal may recognize “the widespread occurrence of non-linear dose responses in toxicology and epidemiology for chemicals and radiation.”

Furthermore, in the April 30 edition of the Federal Register, the Agency’s proposed rule included the following statements:

1. As a case in point there is growing empirical evidence of non-linearity in the concentration response for specific pollutants and health effects.
2. EPA should also incorporate the concept of model uncertainty when needed as a default to optimize low dose risk estimation based on major competing models including linear, threshold, and U-shaped, J-shaped, and bell-shaped models
3. EPA shall evaluate the appropriateness of using default assumptions, including assumptions of a linear, no-threshold dose response on a case by case basis.

Additionally, Dr. Calabrese testified in October at a Senate subcommittee hearing convened to discuss the “Oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Implementation of Sound and Transparent Science in Regulation.”

As early career scientists in an organization dedicated to advancing radiation research in all sciences and medicine, we recognize the linear no-threshold model is far from perfect. At the same time we are concerned with EPA’s sudden shift towards accepting of other models that lack substantial experimental evidence. We seek clarification on three points from the agency:

1. The Agency’s position on the linear no-threshold model when it comes to protection from ionizing radiation
2. The Agency’s incorporation and consideration of models other than the linear no-threshold for use in risk estimates from exposure to ionizing radiation
3. The Agency’s solicitation of input from scientists such as Dr. Edward Calabrese who are not representative of the scientific research in the field

Thank you for your attention to these matters, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.


Scholars’ in Training of the Radiation Research Society

Brian Canter"

Registration for the 2019 ICRR Meeting is open! RRS will sponsor up to 180 members to attend and is providing a block of discounted rooms for RRS attendees. Student members have access to further discounted dorm housing. Sponsorship is on a first-come, first-served basis so register early! Learn more HERE.
This month we are featuring the Howell lab at Rutgers University working in the radiation research division of New Jersey Medical School.

Calvin Leung is an MD/PhD student in the dual program between New Jersey Medical School and the Rutgers School of Graduate Studies Biomedical Sciences. Calvin’s work examines alpha particle radionuclide therapy as a treatment for breast cancer metastasis to bone. Currently, he is elucidating the role of the bystander effect and the immune system in the efficacy of Radium-223, which preferentially localizes to bone. These include, but are not limited to, the proliferation, radiosensitivity, and expression of immune markers of human breast cancer cells in response to alpha particle irradiation. In his free time Calvin is an avid volleyball player and organizes pickup volleyball games.

Brian Canter is a PhD student in the joint Biomedical Engineering track between the Rutgers School of Graduate Studies Biomedical Sciences and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Brian also works on alpha particle radionuclide therapy for breast cancer metastasis to bone. Specifically, he focuses on the effect of Radium-223 on disseminated tumor cells and bone cells. Crucially he looks at differences in response to alpha particle irradiation in disseminated tumor cells within range of the alpha particles and those considered to be bystander cells. He has evaluated the survival of bone forming osteoblasts and bone resident osteocytes utilizing an in vitro alpha particle irradiation. Furthermore, he has observed DNA damage and fragmentation in disseminated tumor cells in a bystander region in vivo. Brian is the co-president of Science Policy and Advocacy at Rutgers, a student run group connecting scientists at Rutgers with the local community, other universities, policymakers, and the public in generating support for scientific research.
If you would like to be featured in the upcoming SIT Newsletter please let us know
Do you know of any SIT publications? Please let us know!
Application Deadline: December 17, 2018
Dissertation and Postdoctoral Application Deadline: December 6, 2018
Pre doctoral Application Deadline: December 13, 2018

Grass Fellowships
Support for early career researchers to conduct an independently-designed study in neurophysiology, biophysics, etc. over the summer at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole.
Application Deadline: December 5, 2018
Database of foundation, non-profits and organizations grants
Do you know of any other funding sources? Please let us know!
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