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Graduate Research:
Washington State University



Sara Dumit, Ph.D. 2018
Chris Nielsen, M.S. 2012
James Elliston, Ph.D. 2001
Samuel Glover, Ph.D. 1998
Suzanne Love, Ph.D. 1997
Charlene Hall, M.S. 1997
Cheryl Moody, M.S. 1996
Hongguo Qu, M.S. 1996
Mickey Hunacek, M.S. 1994
Elaine Marshall, M.S. 1994

Joint Center for Graduate Studies

Timothy Lynch, M.S. 1985
Duane Medley, M.S. 1992
Gary Kephart, M.S.  

The USTUR provides unique opportunities for students who are interested in radiochemistry, health physics, and related fields. It houses data and materials that are not available elsewhere, such as tissues from former U.S. nuclear workers, radiochemical contents of major organs and bones at the time of death, autopsy results, and health physics records from the duration of their employment. These data combine to provide timelines of the intake and subsequent clearance of actinides such as plutonium, americium and uranium.

Titles and selected abstracts

Recent research

dumit gradIn May 2018, WSU Pharmaceutical Sciences Ph.D. student, Sara Dumit, successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, which focused on the development, parameterization, and validation of a plutonium decorporation model. This research was conducted in a close collaboration with European Radiation Dosimetry Group (EURADOS), Working Group 7 on Internal Dosimetry.

More about Sara’s research

Microdistribution of Plutonium Nitrate

0269_Pu_AutoradiographyIn 2012, Chris Nielsen completed his research on the microdistribution and long-term retention of soluble plutonium (nitrate) in the respiratory tract of USTUR registrants and beagle dogs from historical lifespan studies carried out at PNNL. Mr. Nielsen’s master’s work was published in Cancer Research.

More about Chris’ research
Cancer Research paper

Studies in Radiochemistry and Dosimetry

Chart_of_NuclidesThe Joint Center for Graduate Studies was established in 1968 as a partnership between Washington State University, University of Washington (UW), and Oregon State University (OSU). In the 1990s, the USTUR’s director at the time, Ron Kathren, served as a research advisor and committee member for several students who were enrolled in this program. These students carried out their research using USTUR data, and formally received their degrees from the UW.

Additionally, from 1994 until 2006, radiochemistry operations were carried out at WSU’s Nuclear Radiation Center in Pullman, WA. During this time, several doctoral and master’s projects were completed using USTUR data.

Tri-Cities Nursing Students

WSU_NursingStudentsSince 2010, WSU Tri-cities nursing students have assisted with local USTUR autopsies. This mutually beneficial arrangement gives students the opportunity to observe an autopsy and assist with tissue preparation, and provides the USTUR with extra help during the autopsy.

Tri-cities Nursing

In February 2013, Becky Phillips, WSU Graduate College of Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner Program, performed a 45-hour clinical research project at the USTUR as a part of her master’s degree program.