Vol. XXXIV, No. 1 April, 2001

Report from the Emeritus Committee

Bill Osborne


In February 2001, a survey form especially intended for Emeritus Members of the Radiation Research Society, but also extended to any who choose to respond, was sent along with a large mailing to all members of the Society. The survey solicited a response to the following questions:
    1. Your name
    2. Name of institution granting your highest degree
    3. Address you prefer for correspondence
    4. Are you still engaged in scientific research? Provide a short description.
    5. Are you doing other research? Provide a short description.
    6. Are you engaged in writing, scientific or otherwise? Provide a short description.
    7. List items of interest about your family, your health, promotions, discoveries, trips, etc. Be brief.
    8. Comment briefly on items of general interest to others.
    9. Do you have any advice for younger members? If so, please describe.

Each respondent received from the Committee Chair confirmation of their reply. The replies received to date will be featured in their entirety in one portion of the History Committee exhibit at San Juan, Puerto Rico in April 2001.

Although a "chat site" has not been established, the Committee is hopeful that this can be done at a modest price. As additional people add basic information, it is hoped that rapid growth in interest will occur and individuals will enjoy hearing about the activities of others.

Gail Adams, an alumnus of the University of Illinois, Secretary-Treasurer of the Radiation Research Society from 1963-1968, noted that he headed a medical physics program at Oklahoma City for over 15 years before retiring in 1984. Since then, he has been involved in volunteer programs to serve various communities in which he has lived. His home now is in Talent, Oregon. He sent special greetings to Mel Griem and Bob Kallman.

John Baum, a Michigan graduate, makes his home in Patchogue, New York and keeps busy doing the following: technical consulting on dosimetry, radiation safety, and radiobiology; writing articles on his recent research; and enjoying tennis, travel, and his family including 8 grandchildren.

Gilbert Beebe, a graduate of Columbia University, now lives in Alexandria, Virginia. At age 88, he is still engaged in research and scientific writing. His subjects are the Chernobyl disaster and follow-up studies of thyroid cancer and leukemia in individuals exposed to radiation. His next paper on the subject will be on goals, methods, and status of the Chernobyl thyroid project. He desires to see more real data on susceptibility to the carcinogenic influence of ionizing radiation. Additionally, he would like to see a more realistic approach to radiation protection. He is especially proud of his famous daughter, Beatrice Beebe, an expert in infant psychology.

Dan Billen, a long-time member of RRS and editor-in-chief of Radiation Research from 1979-1987 (volumes 80-113), shares time between Oak Ridge and Charleston, S.C. His back bothers him some, so that places some limits on his physical activities. He is engaged in writing about the control or relationship of endogenous DNA damage to the low-dose, low LET response controversy. His advice to younger members is "only study and research radiation biology if you have great curiosity about life and the role radiation played in its evolution". (In the picture he enclosed, Dan looked very comfortable sitting in an easy chair with a beverage.)

Aaron Brill, graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, now lives in Franklin, Tennessee. He has a host of projects underway -- radiation dosimetry, late effects of radiation, treatment planning, and radioimmunotherapy. Additionally, he is working on the effects of short-lived iodines from Chernobyl on thyroid function. He also is considering apoptosis as a treatment-planning marker. He has made numerous scientific study trips to Belarus and the Ukraine and has vacationed recently in Alaska. His advice for younger members is to focus on new technology used at the molecular level for new insights to old/new problems.

Fred Bruenger, now living in Salt Lake City, received his degree from the University of Frankfurt. Although he is no longer doing laboratory research, he authored or co-authored 17 peer-reviewed papers between his 65th and 75th year and still maintains an office at the University of Utah. He commented in his survey response that he hopes the scientific community does not neglect internal emitter research.

Kelly Clifton, a University of Wisconsin graduate, and a long-time member of the Department of Human Oncology there, said that his own laboratory is closed. However, he is analyzing data from radiation carcinogenesis risks per cancer -- susceptible thyroid and mammary stem cells. He is also working on a team-taught course for science teachers desiring to know more about the Chernobyl tragedy. He also hopes to join a group on the rational use of nuclear power. He gave some detail on a retrospective look at some of his past data. He now has the hypothesis that persistent genomic unstability is the initiating event in neoplasia. Kelly and his wife, Mayre Lee, have traveled extensively in Japan, Canada, and Alaska following their long-time interest in Japanese art, especially pottery. The three Clifton sons, their wives, and four grandchildren are a great joy. Kelly's advice to younger scientists included: believe the data, question the interpretations, learn some organismal biology so that you can apply the beautiful tools of molecular biology, and don't join the crowd attacking "popular" problems, but look for a significantly different approach.

Glenn Dalrymple, a University of Arkansas graduate, is now in Omaha at the University of Nebraska where he is part time in clinical medicine (Nuclear Medicine and Radiology) at the VA hospital. He is active in exploring with others the use of I-123UdR and I-125UdR for cancer treatment. His other research interests include internet methods and websites for moving medical images and a somewhat unusual one -- acoustic properties of brass instruments. He has other interests as well -- serving as Executive Director of the Omaha Municipal Orchestra and large format black and white photography of the sand dunes of the South Oregon Coast. His comments were on items of general interest: nuclear power may be returning and radiation research is a viable research area. He also encourages individuals to be a part of groups that do both scientific research and clinical medicine.

Bozidar Djordjevic, who was born and brought up in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, is an alumnus of Rutgers University. He responded by sending an account of his scientific career published in Recent Advances and Research Updates in Medicine/The Researchman. He recalled the encouragement he received at the Nuclear Institute in Vincha, Belgrade from Branimir Miletic and later Dusan Kanazir. He also recalled his one-year visit (1956) to the Department of Genetics at Cold Spring Harbor (M. Demerec, Director). After entering a graduate program at Rutgers, he demonstrated the semi-conservative nature of DNA replication in mammalian cells. He described his four-year return to Belgrade where he clarified the role of BUdR in altering DNA in asynchronous cell culture. This finding set the stage for him to meet Leonard Tolmach at the International Congress of Radiation research in Harrogate, U.K. in 1962 and to later spend 1964-1966 in Len's laboratory. It was during that period that Len's laboratory brought forth the concept of repair of potentially lethal damage. Later, Bozidar would join Jae Ho Kim at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center followed by an association with Christopher Lange at the Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. There he was instrumental in developing and improving the hybrid spheroid assay and moving forward the concept of the bystander effect. His advice to all scientists is to file patent applications as soon as warranted. The reason is practical and not egotistical since without proper credit for past accomplishments, one's future contributions may be hampered.

Ralph Dobelbower did his advanced degree work at Thomas Jefferson University. He is Professor and Founding Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. He remains active in research with efforts directly toward practice patterns in radiation therapy. He has a family of 7 children and 8 grand- children. He lives aboard his yacht "Grand Rounds" on the Maumee River and Lake Erie. His advice is brief - be happy!

Howard Ducoff, a charter member of RRS, is a University of Chicago graduate in physiology. His response is repeated almost verbatim since I do not want to tamper with Howard's interesting way of describing matters. "I am still puttering around the lab: asking how imbibition time [and, therefore, chromatin configuration] influences response of seeds to different stresses, including ionizing radiation, heavy metals, heat, etc. I am trying to write up the history of the discovery of the cell cycle. I lost my wife, beloved surrogate mother to most of my grad students, 2.5 years ago, so I now live alone [scary sometimes!]. Last year I skipped the RRS meeting to attend the Hyperthermia Congress. While in Korea, I spent 4 days as house guest of my former student [and former Argonne staffer] Chung Keel Lee, now Director of the International Vaccine Inst., based on the campus of the National U. in Seoul, and then took a brief side trip to Saipan, where I had served for 15 months during WWII. My advice is to get involved in the social as well as scientific activities at RRS meetings! My chief mentor in my early days in Rad Res was Austin Brues, who was sometimes criticized for being too much of a party animal; but he always saw to it that his junior staffers were also invited to his parties. One of my fondest memories concerns the party in his dorm room after the convocation at the 1st ICRR, in Burlington.  I was sitting on Austin's bed, a glass of Austin's scotch in my hand, discussing some of the lesser-known Gilbert & Sullivan operettas with fellow G&S admirer L H Gray!"  I am also including Howard's letter to the Emeritus Committee which goes as follows: "Thank you, Emeritus Committee, for your concerns--- and thank you, RRS, for forming such a committee! My position as an emeritus is a bit unusual in 2 respects: First, I am also a charter member. When the Society was being organized, invitations were sent to all National Lab senior staff and to military brass associated with the Manhattan Project. A few of the senior people, most notably Harvey Patt, argued that for the Society to be viable, younger investigators should also be encouraged to join. And so a second wave of invitations went out; I was a junior staffer at Argonne, still working on my PhD, and I became one of the youngest [chronologically and professionally] of the new group of charter members. Accordingly, I am one of the few surviving charter members. I see few of my old-time friends at the meetings, but it's the fault of the inexorable march of time, NOT of the Society. Secondly, since 1957 I have been part of an academic unit but not part of a medical school, and I have been privileged to serve as advisor and/or research mentor to more than 30 grad students, about 10 of whom are members of the Society, so we use the annual meetings as an alumni reunion."

It was very nice to hear from Pat Failla. She is a graduate of Columbia University. After many years in the New York City and Chicago areas, she is now at Johns Island in South Carolina. She is not involved in research or writing at present. Be envious as you read that she plays golf twice weekly and since retirement traveled to the Seychelles, Galapagos, East Africa, North Africa, Argentina, New Zealand, China, Panama, and Costa Rica among others! Her advice is to stay active mentally and physically as much as possible after retirement.

Mary Esther Gaulden graduated from the University of Virginia in (of course) genetics. She now lives in Dallas, Texas. Her interesting responses include the following: "I'm fully retired (not on payroll, so my time is my own), but I come into my office 4d/wk (the old brain still works fine). I do consults for physicians, from all over, on irradiated pregnancies; chair a Radiation Safety Committee that reviews research proposals which originate on campus and which involve radiation exposure to patients; and keep myself and my colleagues up to date on low dose radiation effects and molecular cell biology. I'm also serving as the genotoxicity specialist on a National Research Council Committee for the NASA Space Station (11th year) that is evaluating possible hazards of toxic chemicals in the station (in addition to the genotoxic radiation effects). I'm especially interested in keeping current on the scientific literature that bears on the genetic origins of Down syndrome relating to a hypothesis I published several years ago. It explains why spontaneous nondisjunction of chromosome 21 occurs in oocytes at meiosis I, especially in older mothers (and is NOT caused by radiation). I also review some manuscripts for a few journals. I'm now working on a manuscript for work I did before I retired. Also, I have been asked by an editor of Mutation Research to write a paper on Alexander Hollaender, his life and contributions to science. He was instrumental in starting the RRS and the Environmental Mutagen Society and their journals, both national and international. I did a predoctoral in his lab at NIG in 1946-47 and at the University of Tennessee in 1947-49, after which I joined he research staff of the Biology Division of ORNL, which Hollaender organized and headed until his retirement. In 1965, my husband John Jagger (who was also in the ORNL Lab) joined the faculty of the Molecular Biology Department of the University of Texas at Dallas, and I joined the faculty of the Radiology Department of UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. My husband and I are still blessed with good health. He, like me, is retired but still working (writing at home). He is a biophysicist (radiation biologist-photobiologist), so we "talk shop" a lot. Out 2 children and 3 grandchildren are a joy to us. We love to travel, so every year we take a month-long trip overseas and also take shorter car trips in the US and Canada. My advice to younger members is to not decide you are old when you feel that first arthritic pain. Keep "thinking young" until your genes convince you otherwise!!! (In 2 months I will be 80 years young and still enjoy working in my gardens.) Set your mind on the goals you want to attain in both work and your personal life, and go for them. Never abandon curiosity - it will keep you lively and your life will be a great adventure. I applaud what you and your committee are doing. I think one factor that keeps emeritus members from going to scientific meetings is the high costs now associated with attendance, but I don't have a solution to that problem!"

Arvin Glicksman, a Chicago Medical School graduate, is currently a member of the Rhode Island Cancer Council in Pawtucket. He spends 5-10% of his time in research related to the use of radiosensitizers in brachytherapy and neutron capture therapy. In non-radiation-related research, he spends 20% of his time involved in population studies of the attitude of college students towards smoking on campus. It is a longitudinal study across years at college and across different college and university campuses in Rhode Island. This is not all he does. He writes a column on cancer prevention and detection for a local magazine and newspaper. He is also Executive Director of the Rhode Island Cancer Council, a state-supported cancer control agency (web-site is R.I.CancerCouncil.org). In response to giving advice to younger members he said, "I have learned, over the years, not to give advice, especially to young people."

Stanislaw Gross, now living in Tarrytown, NY, received his degree from the Institute of Cancer Research, University of London. He enjoys doing literature searches for new developments that represent progress in the environmental and radiation sciences. He attends the occasional conference in these areas. He taught environmental science courses from 1985-1995. From 1996-1998, he was active in initiating and working in a number of ways on a centennial celebration honoring the discovery and pioneering work related to radioactivity. He stays "involved" by collecting material for lectures at the New York Academy of Sciences and the Polish Institute of Sciences and Arts in New York City on biotechnology, new radiation-related environmental studies and ethics. His family consists of 3 sons and 4 grandchildren, but they are apparently some distance away from Tarrytown. Stanislaw noted some "health reconstruction" on his eyes, heart, prostate, and hearing capability that place limitations on his travel and interaction with others. At present, he would also appreciate a higher income. In the not-to-distant past, he made exploratory trips to Europe, U.S.A., Canada, China, Brazil, Galapagos, and Costa Rica. Professor Gross included two photos that depicted him as an aide to the Grand Marshall of the 1998 parade in New York City dedicated to the centenary of radioactivity and 20 years of church leadership by John Paul II.

In response to the questionnaire sent to emeritus members, Eric Hahn wrote: "This is in response to your questionnaire about RRS Emeritus Members. I have good memories of the RRS  meeting in San Juan in 1967.  Not only were the scientific sessions of great interest, but I also remember the wonderful early morning tennis games I had playing doubles with Mort Elkind, Gene Cronkite, Don Baker, Mort Mendelsohn and, I believe with Vic Bond as well as others. I took my wife Janet and she had a great time participating in the well-planned ladies program. We would dearly like to return to San Juan again this year, but for the fact that we will be in Heidelberg, Germany where I have been invited back as a visiting professor for March and, alas, April. I certainly enjoyed the Albuquerque meeting last year, but I was disappointed because there was no ladies program for Janet to participate in. I am very interested in participating in the Society's future meetings when it is possible for me to do so. In closing, I wish you a great meeting. Please give my best regards to Mel Griem and Bob Kallman."

John Hubbell, a graduate of the University of Michigan and with an honorary degree bestowed by the National University of Cordoba in Argentina, retired from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 1988, but has remained active in a number of ways. He is a physicist/consultant for NIST and writes reviews pertinent to photon cross-section data, attenuation, and energy-absorption coefficients. He is an Editor-in-Chief (Radiation Physics) for the journal Radiation Physics and Chemistry (1992-present). He does some oral and written reviews and status reports (documents will be at San Juan) on photon cross-sections, for example. He enclosed an article "What Did You Do in The War, Granddaddy?" It was something he wrote as a contribution to a family book on "Hubbell's in the Military". He also enclosed what he termed his "obituary", an entry in "Who's Who in America", 2000 edition. In response to a question apparently asked often, he states to questioners that he is related to the astronomer (for whom the telescope is named) as the "9th cousin once removed". He advocates enjoyment of the "global family" nature of science where minimal barriers exist. His advice to young people is to seek friends via your mutual scientific interests, who live in milieu as different as possible from your own (political, religious, economic, and geographic) and you will be richly rewarded.

Mitio Inokuti was the VERY FIRST person to respond to the survey. He graduated from the University of Tokyo and is a long-time member of the Physics Division at the Argonne National Laboratory. Although officially retired, he is clearly quite active as evidenced by his publication of five full papers in 2000 encompassing the topics of photon and charged particle interaction with matter. He is also doing some historical studies on the life and scientific accomplishments of Robert L. Platzman. The Physics Division at Argonne has issued PHY-9595-TH-2000, August, 2000 the following preliminary report: "Scientific Legacy of Robert L. Platzman." Mitio has also just completed the editing of a Festschrift of Ugo Fano.

Keran O'brien III, now living at 1645 Fabulous Texan Way in Sedona, Arizona, is a graduate of Fordham University. He does research on atmospheric cosmic rays and solar particle events and publishes his findings regularly. He was a physicist in the USAEC's Health and Safety Laboratory (now Department of Energy's Environmental Measurements Laboratory) from 1953-1987. After retiring from Federal service in 1987, he became an Adjunct Research Professor of Physics at Northern Arizona University in 1988. Since then, he has been doing private consulting for a number of clients and serving on a number of panels and commissions that had interest in a number of radiation protection-related activities. The picture received suggests that O'brien enjoys backpacking in remote areas.

Larry Powers, a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, now lives in Charleston, South Carolina. He served the Radiation Research Society faithfully for many years. He served as RRS Treasurer for two years (1955, 1956), Secretary-Treasurer for six years (1957-1962), and as RRS President in 1964. He reported that he is marginally engaged in research at present and has some unfinished manuscripts. He still maintains an active interest in Society affairs.

Robert Roosa, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, is at The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. He recently completed 9 years as Chair of the University Radiation Safety Committee. His advice to young people is "invest as much as you can in your retirement funds."

Rainier Sachs is a graduate of Syracuse University. He is currently doing mathematical modeling on a broad spectrum of radiobiological data, especially for chromosome aberration identification obtained from fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) studies. He remains active in scientific writing and publishes 5-10 papers each year.

Brenda Shank has professional degrees from Case Western Reserve and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She is active as a physician at the J.C. Robinson MD Regional Cancer Center in San Pablo, California. Her research encompasses national clinical studies such as Patterns of Care for Breast Cancer and participation in clinical protocols with RTOG, NSABP, and SWOG, among others. She is editing and preparing a manuscript for a book on total body irradiation as well as contributing chapters to other books on the same subject. She noted that she has just published a paper in the Int. J. Rad. Oncol. Biol. Phys. on breast cancer patterns of care. She was recently honored by the Contra Costa Breast Cancer Partnership. Her advice to younger members is "follow your nose down the trail of the surprising result and find out why this was the case."

Agnes N. Stroud-Lee, popularly known as "Aggie", graduated from the University of Chicago. She was a staff member in the Biology Division of the Argonne National Laboratory for many years. She now lives in Belen, New Mexico. She reports that her health is not the best at present as she has failing eyesight.

Robert G. Thomas, a graduate of the University of Rochester, now lives in Folsom, California. Although not actively involved in research, he has been doing some editing for ANS (American Nuclear Society?) on issues involving decontamination and decommissioning of radiation facilities. He is on a National Academy of Science Committee and an ICRP committee "Modeling of the Gastrointestinal Tract." He is in good health but saddened by the loss of his wife in November, 2000. His advice to younger people is "don't forget to look at the big picture -- why are you doing your research?" He enclosed an article "Views from an Early Bird" which is too long to reproduce here, but will be part of the exhibit at San Juan. He concluded his response to the survey by noting that he intends to be in Reno in 2002 and looks forward to seeing some old, old, friends.

Raul Urtasun is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires Medical School. He is now located at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Canada. His research revolves around a Center with the following features: biological imaging and adaptive radiotherapy incorporating PET scanning, functional MRI, and image-guided adaptive radiotherapy (tomotherapy). These facilities are all on one floor. He continues to write research grant proposals. He is a competitive Master Athlete in rowing, swimming, and cross-country skiing. He will be competing at the Master's World Cup cross-country ski meet in Val Cartier, Quebec in March, 2002. In October 2002, he will compete in swimming and rowing at the Master's Summer Games in Melbourne, Australia. His wife is an active polo player in the Calgary Polo Club.

Thanks and best wishes to all who responded to the survey and to those we hope to hear from soon.


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