The USTUR signed a memorandum of understanding with Kyushu Environmental Evaluation Association (KEEA) of Japan on May 16 at the WSU Tri-Cities campus in Richland, WA. This partnership will broaden the scope of USTUR research opportunities as the two institutions share knowledge and resources.
After 9 years of decreasing and flat funding, our annual funding was increased by 20%. In January, the USTUR submitted a 5-year grant renewal proposal for the period of April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2022. A budget of $5,500,000 was requested by the USTUR and approved by the Department of Energy, Office of Health and Safety (AU-10). Funding at this level will allow the USTUR to keep up the the increasing costs associated with autopsies and radiochemically analyzing tissue samples. It will also increase the USTUR’s visibility by allowing faculty members to present the Registries’ research at scientific meetings.
The USTUR’s director, Sergei Tolmachev, attended the International Commission on Radiological Protection’s (ICRP) 3rd International Symposium on the System of Radiological protection in Seoul, South Korea, October 20-22, 2015. This symposium was “an opportunity to hear about ICRP’s recommendations and work-in-progress directly from ICRP members, to have your views on this work heard, and to network with ICRP members and radiological protection colleagues from all parts of the world.”1 Topics included the science behind radiation doses, and new developments in understanding radiation effects. Between sessions, Dr. Tolmachev discussed plans for future collaborative research.
- ICRP 2015 website. http://www.icrp2015.com/index.php?hCode=CONFINFO_01_01. Accessed 27 October 2015.
On April 5, 2015, Abel Gonzales (former member of ICRP Main Commission) and Ludwig Feinendegen (Professor Emeritus, Nuclear Medicine, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany) visited the USTUR. Dr. Tolmachev provided a brief overview of the USTUR history, past and present achievements, and laboratory tour to the guests. Given the unique resources available at the Registries, Dr. Gonzales expressed surprise that the USTUR does not contribute to the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) activities related to the biological effects of uranium.
Maia Avtandilashvili attended a week-long course on radiation epidemiology and dosimetry. The National Cancer Institute’s 2015 Radiation Epidemiology and Dosimetry Course – held in Rockville, MD – covered a range of topics including statistics, dosimetry, radiobiology, genomics, and occupational and medical epidemiology.
George Tabatadze began work as a research associate in radiation measurements on August 1st. Dr. Tabatadze earned his Ph.D. from Idaho State University in 2012. His research was conducted using data from a USTUR registrant donation. As such, he is well acquainted with the mission and operation of the Registries. He is enthusiastic about joining the USTUR research team, and we look forward to working with him.
Ms. Elena Burikova, the Head of the Radiochemistry Group at the Southern Urals Biophysics Institute (SUBI) in Ozyorsk, Russia, spent five days at the USTUR in July 2012. SUBI studies the effects of radiation in workers from the first Russian nuclear facility, Mayak PA. SUBI houses a radiobiological repository that is similar to the USTUR. The Russian Radiobiology Human Tissue Repository (RHTR) contains tissues from 922 deceased Mayak workers, and biological materials from living workers and non-occupationally exposed residents of Ozyorsk (e.g. blood and surgical specimens).1 SUBI’s radiochemistry group analyzes these human tissues to determine the quantity of actinides (such as plutonium and americium). » More …
The USTUR is excited to welcome two new faces to the USTUR team, Maia Avtandilashvili and Elizabeth Thomas. Dr. Avtandilashvili (left) is a health physicist who joined the USTUR on January 22. Ms. Thomas (right) is a laboratory technician who began working with the USTUR on March 1, 2012.
USTUR faculty members were authors on five abstracts that were presented at the 56th Annual Health Physics Society Meeting in West Palm Beach, FL, June 26 – 30, 2011:
USTUR’s Stacey McCord gave an oral presentation titled “Distribution of Terminal Lung and Liver Dose Rates in United States Transuranium and Uranium Registries Registrants.”
Dr. Gary Kramer of Health Canada, Ottawa, gave an oral presentation titled, “Comparison of two leg phantoms containing Am-241 in bone.”
Three Idaho State University students – George Tabatadze, Maia Avtandilashvili, and Majid Khalaf – gave poster presentations on their PhD research. USTUR’s Dr. Anthony James is on each of these students’ doctoral committees and he is an author on their poster presentations.
Dr. Bastian Breustedt started a six-month sabbatical with the USTUR on February 21, 2011. Dr. Breustedt works for the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany, and will be modeling the effects of chelating agents in two USTUR Registrant tissue donors.