STORE   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Become Member
2019 RRS Awards & Honors
Share |

Failla Award: Léon Sanche, PhD

Professor, Nuclear medicine and Radiobiology, Faculty of Medicine and Clinical Research Center, University of Sherbrooke

In 1971, Léon Sanche obtained a Ph.D. from Yale in Engineering and Applied Sciences. Afterwards, he became associate professor at the University of Sherbrooke, Canada. His general career goal has been and still is to achieve a global comprehension of the basic mechanisms of radiation damage in biological systems and to apply this knowledge to enhance the therapeutic efficiency of radiation. To work efficiently toward this objective, he formed in 1982 a group of the Medical Research Council of Canada. His own research has been largely focused on the action of low-energy secondary electrons generated by ionizing radiation in condensed biomolecules, Dr. Sanche has published 443 refereed papers, 29 book chapters and trained about 50 students and postdoctoral fellows. He obtained the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Medical Research Council of Canada and more recently the Marie Curie Award for incoming senior scientists from the European Commission. In 2008, he was elected member of the Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada.

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.



Jack Fowler Award: Evagelia Laiakis, PhD 

PRIMARY APPOINTMENT: Assistant Professor, Department of Oncology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Laiakis received her Ph.D. degree in Human Genetics from the University of Maryland at Baltimore, studying radiation induced genomic instability and the contribution of pro-inflammatory processes with Dr. Bill Morgan. She subsequently completed her postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Albert J. Fornace Jr at Georgetown University, in the field of radiation biodosimetry through metabolomics. She was appointed a Research Instructor in 2012 and an Assistant Professor in 2014 in the Department of Oncology at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Recently, she was elected as a Council Member to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) and has been serving as a member of PAC-1 of NCRP since 2016. She is also a current Councilor-at-Large of the Radiation Research Society.

Dr. Laiakis’ current research aims to expand the field of radiation metabolomics and lipidomics through mass spectrometry with untargeted and targeted approaches. Her focus includes deciphering differences and similarities in metabolic responses to scenarios such as a wide range of doses covering acute radiation syndrome, dose rates, normal tissue responses, and radiation quality effects. Her work has also expanded to space radiation effects, in combination with stressors such as microgravity.


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.


Michael Fry Award: Karl Butterworth, PhD

PRIMARY APPOINTMENT: Assistant Professor, Centre for Cancer Research & Cell Biology, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

Dr Butterworth is a Radiation Biologist with expertise in non-targeted effects and preclinical radiotherapy. He received his BSc in Biochemistry from the University of St Andrews, before undertaking a PhD at Ulster University which was followed by post-doctoral research focussing on metal nanoparticle radiosensitizers. In 2007, he joined Kevin Prise’s group and continued to work on metal nanoparticles whilst developing interests in radiation induced signalling and spatially fractionated radiotherapy. He has been a visiting scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), and is also a past Chair of the RRS Scholars-in-Training (SIT) Committee.

In 2015, he was appointed as Assistant Professor in Translational Radiation Biology at Queen’s University Belfast, where his lab now focuses on exploiting opportunities for biological optimisation in radiotherapy using combination treatments and understanding the basis of normal tissue injury. Central to his programme is the application of mouse models with small animal image guided radiotherapy, closely linking with preclinical imaging and functional tissue assessment. 

The Michael Fry Award recognizes an individual early in his/her career with exceptional accomplishments in radiation research. 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.



J.W. Osborne Award: Bryan Allen, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Co-leader of Experimental Therapeutics, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Bryan G. Allen MD, PhD is an associate professor and physician scientist in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He is co-program leader for the Experimental Therapeutics program in the NCI designated Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.  Dr. Allen is a redox biochemist with expertise in manipulating metabolic oxidative stress to enhance radiation and chemotherapy effectiveness and reduce cancer therapy associated normal tissue toxicities. He is also a practicing radiation oncologist who develops and leads clinical trials translating research discoveries from the bench to the bedside and taking clinical observations back to the bench for analysis. Dr. Allen is currently funded for investigations on the role of redox active iron in pharmacological ascorbate’s selective toxicity to cancer cells and the metabolic mechanisms behind why tissues from elderly patients are more susceptible to radiation and chemotherapy induced normal tissue toxicity.

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 award  “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.


Marie Curie Award: Carolina Garcia Garcia

PRIMARY APPOINTMENT: MD/PhD Candidate, Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Carolina Garcia Garcia received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Mayaguez Campus in 2014. During her undergraduate studies, she worked in the Laboratory for Genomic Diversity at the UPR. Carolina is currently an MD/PhD Candidate of the U54 Partnership for Excellence in Cancer Research between the UPR School of Medicine and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She is working on her dissertation in the lab of Dr. Cullen Taniguchi in the Department of Radiation Oncology. The Taniguchi lab investigates how hypoxia and metabolism influence tumor biology and normal tissue response to radiation. Carolina’s project focuses on characterizing the mechanism by which hypoxia inducible factors protect the small intestine from ionizing radiation. Insight into this mechanism may lead to the development of therapies to prevent or mitigate radiation-induced gastrointestinal syndrome. Carolina’s goal is to become a radiation oncologist physician scientist.

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 invited to speak at the annual meeting.



SIT Excellence in Mentorship: Marianne Sowa, PhD

PRIMARY APPOINTMENT: Chief, Space Biosciences Division, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Marianne Sowa completed her Ph.D. in physical chemistry and spent her early career working in the areas of ion-molecule interactions, biophysics and reaction kinetics. Dr. Sowa’s radiation research career began when she joined the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington where she designed and developed a pulsed electron beam single cell irradiator. This device was instrumental in testing the existence of radiation-induced bystander effects for low LET exposures. Dr. Sowa also uses system biology approaches to understanding radiation-induced effects in three-dimensional culture models that more realistically replicate the cellular environment in situ. In 2015, Dr. Sowa joined NASA as Chief of the Space Bioscience Research Branch. In 2018, she became the Chief of the Space Biosciences Division, and currently leads a team of 45 civil servants in the Branches of Bioengineering, Flight Systems Implementation, and Space Bioscience Research. She is the Radiation Discipline Scientist for Space Biology Program at ARC and is currently the Acting Senior Research Scientist for ARC Space Biology.


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.



 Distinguished Service: Richard Pelroy, PhD

PRIMARY APPOINTMENT: Program Director, Radiation Effects Branch, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD

Dr. Richard Pelroy grew up in Washington State where he received both his undergraduate and his Ph.D. degrees in microbiology from the University of Washington. After three postdoctoral training fellowships, first at the University of Washington and later at UC-Berkeley, he landed his first “real” position as a research scientist at the Battelle Northwest Laboratory in Richland, Washington where he studied bacterial mutagenesis with synthetic DNA target. He was later promoted to the rank of Associate Manager and Technical Group Leader. In 1989, he was recruited to the NIH as Program Director of the Radiation Effects Branch of NCI and named as its Acting Chief the following year, where he has remained to date. Dr. Pelroy has published more than 80 scientific articles. As Program Director, he has worked with and is well known to members of the Radiation Research Society. As a hobby, Dr. Pelroy is an avid bird watcher.   

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CRITERIA: 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.


Distinguished Service: Walter Schimmerling, PhD

PRIMARY APPOINTMENT: Adjunct Professor, Department of Physics, Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, East Carolina University

Walter Schimmerling received his M.S. in physics from the University of Buenos Aires (1962) and his Ph.D. in Radiation Science (1971) from Rutgers University. As an Assistant for Biomedical Research to the Director of Princeton University’s Princeton Particle Accelerator, he was a member of the team that produced the first high-energy heavy ion beams, simulating space radiation, in the laboratory. In 1972 he moved to the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory of the University of California at Berkeley, where his research was focused on the interaction of high energy heavy ions with matter, and the consequences for radiation therapy of cancer and space radiation protection.  From 1990 until his retirement, Dr. Schimmerling led the space radiation research program at NASA Headquarters, that he developed from its inception. He is now Adjunct Professor in the East Carolina University Department of Physics, and Chief Editor of The Health Risks of Extraterrestrial Environments (THREE), an encyclopedic NASA web site.

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CRITERIA: 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.


VIEW 2018 Awards & Honors Recipients
VIEW 2017 Awards & Honors Recipients
VIEW 2016 Awards & Honors Recipients
2015 Awards & Honors Recipients
VIEW 2014 Awards & Honors Recipients
VIEW 2013 Awards & Honors Recipients

Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal