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News & Press: SIT Newsletter

SIT Newsletter: October 2019

Wednesday, October 30, 2019  
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RRS Winter Workshop Registration
(Learn More)

January 7
Abstract Submission Deadline for Winter Workshop

Basic Science Radiation Biology - Tenure Track
Radiation Biology Branch, NIH
Bethesda, MD
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Adjunct Instructor, Radiation Science Technology
University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College, Allied Health Department
Cincinnati, OH
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Postdoctoral Fellow- Open Positions
Rice University Dept. of Bioengineering
Houston, TX
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Postdoctoral Fellow- Neurobiology/Developmental Biology
University of Texas
San Antonio, TX
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Curriculum Fellow for Online Learning- Immunology
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA
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Curriculum Fellow for Online Learning- Genetics
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA
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Scientist- Molecular Biology
10X Genomics
Pleasanton, CA
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Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Texas at MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX
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Assistant Professor (tenure-track)
Rutgers University, New Jersey Medical School
Newark, NJ
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Postdoctoral Position- Molecular Imaging and Therapy
University of California
San Francisco, CA
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Postdoctoral Position- Radiation Oncology
University of California
San Francisco, CA
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65th Annual RRS Meeting
San Diego, CA
November 3-6, 2019
SIT Workshop November 2, 2019
5th International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection
Adelaide, Australia
November 19-21, 2019

RRS Workshop: Challenges & Solutions in the Era of Targeted Radionuclide-Based Therapy
Big Sky Resort, MT
Registration Open!
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
Julie Constanzo- BioPhysics
Calvin Leung- Medicine/Biology
Rutul Patel- Pharmacology
Alexandra Taraboletti-Biology

Dear SIT Members,

October is here - it's time for pumpkin carving, apple picking, scary movies, and spooky costumes. Science and the scientist have long been tangled into Halloween traditions and the idea of the supernatural. Maybe some of you have even donned a lab coat (as an easy costume). The idea of the “mad scientist” is one major cultural influence connected to Halloween with recent historic ties. Mary Shelly’s prototypical mad scientist, Victor Frankenstein, made his first appearance in 1818. He cemented many characteristics often associated with the motif - infatuated, obsessive, and driven in their efforts. In 1927 the movie Metropolis brought the archetypical mad scientist to the screen in the form of Rotwang, the evil genius whose machines gave life to the dystopian city. Rotwang's appearance - the shock of flyaway hair, wild-eyed demeanor, and laboratory garb – was adopted as the quintessential “look” of a mad scientist. However, mad scientists became most prominent in popular culture after World War II. The invention of the atomic bomb gave rise to genuine fears that science and technology had gotten out of control. The creation of the gamma-irradiated Hulk (a re-imagining of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) was influenced by the Cold War. Although these characters are outrageous, ridiculous, and silly, it is important to consider that these images can oftentimes form a negative public perception of scientists.

The truth is that science is inspiring. As we gear up for the 65th Annual Radiation Research Society Meeting in November, it is important to reflect on our writing and speaking and how it impacts the public. The understanding and awareness of the public’s perceptions of scientists is complex. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) recently put together the report Perceptions of Science in America, which details the public’s confidence in scientists, and how demographic influences shape those opinions. Americans expressed strong support for public investment in research and agreed that scientists should play a major role in shaping public policy.

One takeaway from the AAAS study highlighted the importance of good science communication and its impact on society. Science communication is integral to how scientific information guides fundamental personal choices. It is so important that it was the focus of our newsletter last month. Using proper communication can help the public understand how innovations improve communities, and how science can offer novel solutions to many of our world’s dire challenges. When science communication is done well, it can also inspire critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration.

Science doesn’t have to be spooky. By getting better at communicating research or by getting involved with policy, we scientists can empower and inspire the public - while simultaneously improving the public’s perception of science and scientists.

Happy Haunting,

Alex Taraboletti
SIT Committee Member

We are also on Facebook! Check out the SIT Facebook group.
We would like to give a warm congratulations to Nick Colangelo, who will be the next SIT Committee Vice-Chair.
Presenting the RRS Winter Workshop to be held over the dates of March 4-6, 2020 in Big Sky, MT. The workshop, titled “Challenges & Solutions in the Era of Targeted Radionuclide-Based Therapy,” will be held at Big Sky Resort. Workshop Chairs, Jan P. Schuemann and Rebecca Abergel have generated an exciting program that brings together well-established experts and exciting new investigators in the field of tumor metabolism. Submitted abstracts will be blindly judged to allow for selection of 8 additional speakers.

Who Should Attend
This workshop is intended to bring together basic science researchers working in tumor metabolism, radiobiologists, radiologists and radiation oncologists to explore the interface between tumor metabolism and the response to radiotherapy.

Program Emphasis
The workshop format will allow for networking, collaboration and scientific discussions to promote addressing the Achilles heel of tumor-specific metabolic alterations as a means to improve radiotherapy efficacy. Both pre-clinical and clinical studies will be discussed with an emphasis on bench to bedside approaches.

Please consider including Big Sky, Montana in your 2020 conference plans. We invite you to contribute your latest research to this meeting and help make it a truly memorable and interactive event at the forefront of radiation sciences.

Earlier this month the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded to William Kaelin Jr., Sir Peter Ratcliffe and Gregg Semenza. The trio received the award for their work on “how cells sense and adapt to the availability of oxygen.” They discovered that in oxygen deprived cells hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α) is not degraded and accumulates in the nucleus binding to hypoxia regulated genes. However, in cells with normal oxygen levels, HIF-1α is modified by the addition of two hydroxyl groups allowing for binding by another protein VHL leading to proteasome degradation.

Notably, Dr. Ratcliffe was working on a European Union Synergy Grant when he received the news he had won the prize. Even Nobel Prize laureates are still at the mercy of grant deadlines. Speaking of government sponsored research, both Dr. Ratcliffe and Dr. Semenza have received NIH funding allowing them to carry out these seminal studies. Through long term investment in each of these researchers, national governments and taxpayers have contributed financially in facilitating this groundbreaking research.

The current funding situation for federally sponsored research in the United States is facing an important deadline. We are one month into the fiscal year 2020 but do not have finalized spending amounts for US government agencies sponsoring research such as the NIH. Agencies like the NIH can still operate as a continuing resolution or CR was passed by Congress last month. However, CRs are detrimental to government agencies sponsoring research because they NIH to operate at last year’s budget. That means the NIH is less flexible in sponsoring newer, innovative work.

But now is not the time to lose hope. ResearchAmerica, a medical and health research advocacy organization, has taken the lead on pushing back through their #CRsStopProgress campaign. Additionally, 3 lawmakers introduced a bill last week to increase funding to the NIH Innovation Fund by $10 billion. Policymakers value input from the public and from the scientific community.

I would encourage you all to put a face and name behind radiation research by reaching out to your municipal, state and federal government offices. If you want a particular topic or issue addressed in this section, please feel free to reach out to Brian Canter via email at!

Banerjee, Sudip, Qiang Fu, Sumit K. Shah, Stepan B. Melnyk, Esta Sterneck, Martin Hauer-Jensen, and Snehalata A. Pawar. "C/EBPδ protects from radiation-induced intestinal injury and sepsis by suppression of inflammatory and nitrosative stress." Scientific Reports 9, no. 1 (2019): 1-12.

Pirkkanen J, Tharmalingam S, Morais IH, Lam-Sidun D, Thome C, Zarnke AM, Benjamin LV, Losch AC, Borgmann AJ, Sinex HC, Mendonca MS. Transcriptomic profiling of gamma ray induced mutants from the CGL1 human hybrid cell system reveals novel insights into the mechanisms of radiation-induced carcinogenesis. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 2019 Sep 30.

Do you know of any SIT publications? Please let us know!
AAUW Fellowship Dissertation
Application Deadline: November 1, 2019

ALSF Innovation Grants Relevant to Childhood Cancer
Application Deadline: November 4, 2019

ALSF Childhood Cancer Epidemiology Research Grants: Young Investigator Grants
Application Deadline: December 16, 2019

Burroughs Welcome Awards
Application Deadline: Open

Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council

Application Deadline: Open

Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung/Foundation
Application Deadline: Open

Burrows Wellcome Fund
Application Deadline: Open
Antibodies Travel Grants Program
Application Deadline: Quarterly
ASTRO Funding Opportunities
ASTRO funds research in radiation biology, cancer biology and radiation physics. Funding opportunities are available for junior faculty and residents.

Proposal Central
Database of foundation, non-profits and organizations grants
Do you know of any other funding sources? Please let us know! 
Audrey Rinehart, Association Manager 
380 Ice Center Lane, Suite C | Bozeman, MT 59718 
1.877.216.1919 |
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