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2023 Advisory Committee Meeting

Thursday and Friday, April 20-21


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The 2023 annual meeting of the USTUR’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) was held April 20-21 in Richland, WA. This two-day meeting featured both operational and scientific presentations, and provided time for SAC members to discuss the USTUR’s activities during the past year, and to make recommendations for the coming year.

Meeting Summary

Day 1 (Thursday):

The meeting opened with introductions and updates. The USTUR director, Sergei Tolmachev, welcomed meeting attendees, and the committee chair, Thomas Rucker, provided opening remarks. This was followed by updates on the Department of Energy (DOE) given by the DOE director of Office of Health and Safety (EHSS-10), Kevin Dressman, and the USTUR program manager, Joey Zhou. WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS) associate dean for undergraduate programs, Kathryn Meier, summarized research at the CPPS. Following updates, the USTUR’s faculty and staff gave several presentations on the operational aspects of the Registries, including: administrative and financial developments, progress toward addressing recommendations from the 2022 SAC meeting, Registrant statistics, institutional review board changes, and radiochemistry operations.

This year’s meeting included four scientific presentations, which display the diversity of USTUR research. Deepesh Poudel of Los Alamos National Laboratory described a proposed biokinetic model for the respiratory tract that replaces chemical binding with scar tissue compartments. Xirui Liu discussed the impact that death certificate misclassification errors can have on estimates of cancer risk from radiation epidemiological studies. Martin Šefl looked at data from nine workers who were involved in the 1965 Rocky Flats glove box fire in order to quantify uncertainties in organ activity predictions for this group of workers who inhaled high-fired oxides of plutonium. The final scientific presentation was given by Dr. Zhou, who discussed the use of latent bone modelling to improve uncertainty estimates when plutonium activity concentrations in the human skeleton are calculated from the concentrations in individual bones.

To close the first day of the meeting, Dr. Tolmachev presented the USTUR’s research and operational plan for FY2024, and opened the meeting up for general discussion about the day’s presentations. This included a Q&A session, where SAC members and other attendees were invited to ask questions about the USTUR’s operations and research.

Day 2 (Friday):

The second day was administrative in nature and was open only to SAC members, the USTUR staff, and the DOE program manager. The day began with another Q&A session, where the SAC and USTUR staff discussed their observations about topics presented during Day 1. This was followed by an executive session, where only SAC members remained in the meeting. After lunch, the USTUR staff and the DOE program manager rejoined the meeting, and the SAC shared several comments regarding progress during the past year as well as recommendations for the coming year.

SAC Membership

This was a busy year for SAC membership. Four of the advisory committee’s six members completed terms on the committee. Two individuals renewed their membership for another term, and two were replaced. Terms are three years in length, and the maximum length of service for a SAC member is three terms.

Name Area of Expertise Term Completed Action
Janet Benson Toxicology 1 Renewed
Heather Hoffman Epidemiology/Biostatistics 2 Replaced by David Pawel (Biostatistics)
Timothy Ledbetter Ethics 3 Replaced by Katherine Ertell (Ethics)
Arthur “Bill” Stange Occupational Health 2 Renewed