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2017 RRS Awards & Honors
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Failla Award: Dale L. Preston, PhD

Principal Scientist at Hirosoft International

Dale Preston has a B.S in mathematics from Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA and an M.S. and a Ph.D in Biostatistics from UCLA. In 1981, after athree years at Bell Labs, he began working on atomic bomb survivor studies at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima, where he worked for the next 23 years, While at RERF he developed a class of risk regression models and modelling software that are widely used for dose-response modelling in radiation epidemiology and other areas, took a lead role in the preparation of major reports on radiation effects on cancer and non-cancer mortality and incidence rates in the survivor cohorts, and oversaw the implementation of two new dosimetry systems. He has had a 30-year association with the Radiation Epidemiology Branch of the US National Cancer Institute and has worked on studies of the Russian Mayak Worker and Techa River cohorts for more than 25 years. Since returning to the US in 2004, Dr Preston has continued to work on the analyses of cancer risks in the atomic bomb survivors, Mayak Workers, Techa River residents, US radiologic technologists, and other exposed populations. Other professional activities include service as a consultant to UNSCEAR and various BEIR committees, as a member of ICRP Committee 1, and as an associate editor of Radiation Research. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Statistical Association and an author of almost 200 peer-reviewed articles. 

The Failla Award was established in 1962-1963 to honor the late Gioacchino Failla, one of the founding fathers of the Radiation Research Society and its second president. The award is given annually to an outstanding member of the radiation research community in recognition of a history of significant contributions to radiation research. Each year the RRS President presents the awardee with an engraved medallion and cash award.


Jack Fowler Award: Emely Lindblom, PhD

PhD Student in Medical Radiation Physics, Department of Physics, Stockholm University 

Emely Lindblom, PhD, received her MSc in medical radiation physics and became a qualified hospital physicist in 2012. Although her original plan was to work in the hospital after finishing the program, she became so intrigued by her master thesis work on modelling the impact of hypoxia on the outcome of stereotactic body radiotherapy that she pursued a career in academia instead. In 2013, she became a PhD student in medical radiation physics at Stockholm University and plans to defend her thesis on optimal fractionation in photon radiotherapy of non-small-cell lung cancer in 2017. In parallel with her thesis work, she have also explored the impact of hypoxia in particular on the outcome of other treatment modalities such as brachytherapy, proton therapy, and carbon ion therapy. Lindblom believes that radiobiological modelling is a key component not only in the pursuit of optimal treatment schedules, but in truly individualized and adaptive radiotherapy as well. Throughout her PhD, she has also had the privilege to be involved in teaching radiation physics and radiobiology to undergraduate students. As teaching is truly a passion of hers, she sincerely hopes to be able to keep combining a fruitful scientific career with being a teacher after her PhD.

The Jack Fowler Award is provided by the University of Wisconsin to honor the achievements of Professor Jack Fowler. The award recognizes an outstanding junior investigator for exceptional work in radiation oncology, medical physics, and/or radiobiology. A candidate must be an outstanding junior investigator who has performed exceptional work in radiation oncology, medical physics, and/or radiobiology. Nominations for the Jack Fowler Award must include the candidate’s curriculum vitae, a nomination letter, and no more than two supporting letters.


Michael Fry Award: Igor Koturbash, MD, PhD

Associate Professor (with tenure) in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Dr. Igor Koturbash is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Little Rock, AR. He received his MD (with honors) from the State Medical University in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, and his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Lethbridge, Canada. The main focus of Igor’s research is devoted to modulation of the normal and tumorous tissue response to ionizing radiation by targeting the epigenetic and metabolic pathways. Dr. Koturbash is author/co-author of over 70 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. His research is funded by NIH, NSBRI, NIOSH and DOJ. Igor is a recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including Alberta Cancer Board/Cyril M. Kay Graduate Studentship Award and the Faculty Award for Excellence in Research from UAMS. He has been a member of the Radiation Research Society since 2005 and currently serves as a Vice-President for the South-Central Chapter of the Society of Toxicology.

The intent is to recognize an individual early in his/her career, but not defined by any specific age. In keeping with the intent of the award, early in career is typically considered to be within 10 years of completion of training (e.g., post-doc, residency, fellowship). A candidate is not required to be a member of the Society, but the work upon which the nomination is based must be in one or more of the areas of radiation research.


SIT Excellence in Mentorship: Edouard Azzam, PhD, MS

Professor of Radiology, New Jersey Medical School
Professor of Radiation Oncology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Newark, NJ

Ed received his doctoral degree in the field of Radiation Biology from the University of Ottawa (Canada) in 1995 under the mentorship of Drs. Ron Mitchel and Peter Raaphorst. From 1995 to 2000, he was mentored by Professor John B. Little during his post-doctoral studies at the Harvard School of Public Health. Since 2000, he has been engaged in research and training of students who remain involved in studies examining the roles and mechanisms of intercellular communcation and oxidative metabolism in adaptive and bystander responses to low doses/low fluences of different types of ionizing radiation.


The award is bestowed each year by the Scholar-in-Training Committee.  It honors an individual who has provided exceptional mentoring to a Scholar-in-Training member in both their professional and personal aspirations.



Marie Curie AwardNils-Petter Rudqvist, PhD, MS

Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Radiation Oncology, Weill Cornell Medicine

Nils-Petter Rudqvist received his M.Sc. in Physics in 2009, and Ph.D. in Medical Science in 2015 from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Determined to pursue an academic career, he joined the lab of Dr. Amundson at Columbia University in New York City for one year of postdoctoral training. Intrigued by the emerging role of radiation in cancer immunotherapy Nils-Petter decided to join the lab of Dr. Demaria at Weill Cornell Medicine (New York, NY) where he is currently a postdoctoral associate in radiation oncology. His research project is focused on investigating the mechanisms whereby radiation therapy can convert a tumor into an in situ individualized vaccine. In particular, Nils-Petter is leveraging his multidisciplinary background to determine to which extent radiation effectively exposes the tumor neoantigen reservoir to the immune system. His project encompasses both mouse tumor models as well as patients-derived samples. He has published 16 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and 60+ scientific conference abstracts. Nils-Petter’s long-term career goal is to become an independent investigator within the field of radiation and immunotherapy.

The Marie Curie Award was established to recognize the Scholars-in-Training travel award applicant showing the highest potential for a successful career in radiation research. The recipient is then invited to speak at the annual meeting. Nils-Petter Rudqvist, PhD, MS will present his scientific presentation at the annual meeting, Monday October 16, 2017 at 6:00pm.


J.W. Osborne Award: David G. Kirsch, MD, PhD


Barbara Levine University Professor in Radiation Oncology and Pharmacology & Cancer Biology, Duke
Leader of the Radiation Oncology & Imaging Program, Duke Cancer Institute
Vice Chair for Basic and Translational Research in the Radiation Oncology Department, Duke

David Kirsch, MD, PhD, is the Barbara Levine University Professor at Duke in the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Pharmacology & Cancer Biology. After graduating from Duke with a BS in Biology, he completed the MD/PhD program at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he performed his thesis research with Dr. Michael Kastan. After an internship in Internal Medicine, Dr. Kirsch trained in radiation oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He worked as a post-doc in the laboratory of Dr. Tyler Jacks at M.I.T., where he developed a genetically engineered mouse model of soft tissue sarcoma. He utilized the Jacks’ lab mouse model of non-small cell lung cancer to study radiation response in vivo. In 2007 Dr. Kirsch moved to Duke, where he uses radiation therapy to care for patients with sarcomas at the Duke Cancer Center. Dr. Kirsch is the leader of the Radiation Oncology & Imaging Program in the Duke Cancer Institute and serves as Vice Chair for Basic and Translational Research in the Department of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Kirsch’s laboratory utilizes sophisticated genetically engineered mouse models to study mechanisms of tumor and normal tissue response to radiation

The J.W. Osborne Award honors an RRS member who has contributed significantly to the understanding of normal tissue radiation responses. The recipient of the “Osborne Award” should ideally be a mid-career scientist and a member of the RRS in good standing. Candidates for the Osborne Award are nominated by the membership of the Society, and the selection will be made by the Awards and Honors Committee. Nominations should consist of a nomination letter, the candidate’s curriculum vitae, and no more than two supporting letters.


Radiation Research Editors' Award: Ryne J. DeBo, MS, PhD

Comparative Medicine at Wake Forest University

Dr. Ryne Jeffrey DeBo earned his BA in Biology for Lake Forest College, his MS in Clinical Laboratory Science from Rush University and his PhD in Molecular Medicine and Translational Sciences from Wake Forest University. While at Rush University his research, under the advisement of Dr. Ahmed Mirza, focused the effectiveness of ultraviolet-B radiation as a sole source of sterilization for common clinical microorganisms. During his graduate studies at Wake Forest University in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas C. Register, he studied the molecular and cellular effects of total body irradiation on immune and cardiovascular tissues in non-human primates. He is currently working on a project evaluating the effects of a potential radiation mitigater in a NHP model of radiation exposure. He is also a member of two honor societies, Golden Key International Honor Society and Nu Rho Psi (National Honor Society in Neuroscience).

The Editors’ Award honors a RRS Scholar-in-Training who has published an outstanding paper in Radiation Research.


Distinguished Service Award: Eleanor A. Blakely, PhD

Senior Staff Biophysicist in the Biological Systems & Engineering Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Faculty Affiliate Appointment in Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University
Clinical Professor of Radiation Medicine, Loma Linda University

Eleanor A. Blakely is a Senior Staff Biophysicist (Rehired Retiree) in the Biological Systems & Engineering Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) with more than 42 years of professional experience in molecular, cellular and animal radiobiological research directed at studying the basic mechanisms of radiation responses, with an emphasis on charged particle radiation effects. She also holds a Faculty Affiliate Appointment in the Department of Radiological Health Sciences at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, and is a Clinical Professor of Radiation Medicine (non-tenured) at Loma Linda University, School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA. Dr. Blakely earned a Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, IL as a U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Special Fellow in Radiation Science and Protection. Dr. Blakely has been a member of the Radiation Research Society since 1970, and has served RRS in several capacities: Associate Editor of the Radiation Research Society Journal (1984-1988), Biology Councilor (1984-1987), History Committee (1982-present, and Chair 2007-2011), and Secretary-Treasurer (2011-2017). She is a Councilor of the NCRP (2000-2018), and a Fellow of the AAAS (2016).

The Distinguished Service Award shall be given to an RRS member or non-member to recognize continued service conducted beyond the call of duty to further the goals and objectives of the Society. This award need not be given annually, but rather when the Society deems it to be appropriate.


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