The European Radiation Research Society

The Bacq and Alexander Awardees

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Below you can find short information about the ERRS Bacq and Alexander Awardees




Curriculum vitae

1996: Christian Streffer (Germany)

Christian Streffer started his scientific studies in autumn 1958 as an organic chemist in the Radiologisches Institut, Univerity of Freiburg i.Br. He did some organic synthesis studies for a Master Degree in Chemistry. Thereafter he started work for a Ph.D. thesis in protein chemistry at the University of Freiburg. After taking a Ph.D. degree in January 1963 Christian Streffer went for six months to work in the Department of Biochemistry of Oxford University under the leadership of Professor Sir Hans Adolf Krebs. In autumn 1963 he returned to the Radiologisches Institut in Freiburg and started his work on metabolism of tryptophan as well as energy metabolism in mice after X-irradiation. One of the important findings was that in metabolic chains the so called pacemaker enzymes were most radiosensitive.

Around 1970 Christian Streffer started to work with cultures of pre-implantation mouse embryos and radiation effects. These studies were continued and intensified when Christian Streffer was appointed full professor and director of the Institute for Medical Radiobiology at the University Clinics in Essen in 1974. Cell proliferation and cell cycle can be studied with this system very efficiently as cell division can be clearly seen under the microscope and identified for each embryo. Until the experiments of Christian Streffer and his group it was generally accepted that no malformations can be induces by ionising radiation during the pre-implantation period. However, it now turned out that in a mouse strain with a genetic predisposition for a malformation (gastroschisis) this malformation increased after exposure during the pre-implantation period. The highest radiosensitivity was seen after exposure at the zygote stage shortly after conception. It was also observed that in fibroblasts from a foetus irradiated in the zygote stage the number of chromosomal aberrations was increased although a normal newborn mouse had developed. In a publication from 1989 the increase of instability was for the first time discussed as resulting from “instability of the genome” (today called: genomic instability). It was also observed that this instability is transmitted to the next mouse generation.

Besides these investigations Christian Streffer and his group studied several aspects of experimental radiotherapy on normal and human cancer cell systems as well as on tumour systems with nude mice. These investigations were done in close cooperation with clinicians of various disciplines and one of the aim was to find indicators for the individualization of cancer therapy. A number of studies were performed with respect to hypoxia with cells and transplanted cancers. This was done in connection with hyperthermia and hypoxic sensitizers. Thus the vascularization of normal tissues and of transplanted tumours was studied by corrosion cast techniques. Metabolic investigations were performed after hyperthermia. It was observed that appreciable shifts of the metabolic redox-ratios occur after such treatment which may explain the effects which are seen in tumours under these conditions.

Christian Streffer was President of the ERRS (1993-1994), Honorary President of ERRS (2002-2008), Member of the “Strahlenschutzkommission” (1979-1995), Chairman of the Commission (1993-1995), Advisor to UNSCEAR (1980-1999), Head of the German delegation to UNSCEAR (2001-2006), Member of ICRP (1993-2007), member of the Main Commission and Chairman of Committee 2 (2001-2007). Since 2008 Emeritus Member of ICRP.

Christian Streffer received many distinctions, among others the honorary doctor degree of the University of Kyoto, Japan (1995), the Bacq Alexander Award (1996), the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Medal of the Polish Society for Radiation Research (2001), the Friedrich-Dessauer Medal of the German Association for Radiological Protection (2002), Hanns Langendorff Medal of the Hanns-Langendorff-Foundation and Gesellschaft fuer Med. Strahlenschutz (2007), the Sievert Award of the International Radiological Protection Association (2008), the Ulrich Hagen Medaille of the Gesellschaft für biologische Strahlenforschung (2009), the Distinguish Service Award of Radiation Research Society, USA (2009).

1997: Jean René Maisin (Belgium) 

Jean René Maisin was born in Leuven in 1928. He received his doctorate in medicine in 1954, specializing in pathology 1959 and then in radio-diagnosis and in radio-therapy in 1961. He trained in the United States in 1959 at the National Oak Ridge Laboratory in Tennessee with a WHO fellowship, and in 1960 at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington DC, with a NIH fellowship of the United States. In 1962 he was made Head of the Department of Radiobiology for the Study Center of Nuclear Energy in Mol (SCK•CEN). Since 1965 he has been registered as physician responsible for medical supervision of occupationally exposed people to ionizing radiation (Class 1). He completed Aggregation of higher education at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in 1966. Dr. Maisin was appointed lecturer at UCL Faculty of Medicine in 1970, special lecturer in 1973, extraordinary professor in 1981 and professor emeritus in 1993. And in 1985 he was appointed Scientific Advisor to the Directorate General of SCK•CEN with the title of Head of Division. He has authored over 250 scientific papers concerning radiobiology, radiation, oncology, and pathology. Jean René Maisin was elected Secretary General of the "European Late Effect Project Group" (EULEP) from 1970 to 1985, and then president from 1985 to 1995. He was made an honorary member in 1996. He became a member of the elected Board of Directors of the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) in 1991, acting president in 1993, president from 1995 to 1999 and honorary member in 1999. From 1985 until 2009 he served as Belgian representative at the United Nations Committee to the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) and chairman of the committee in 1991 and 1992. He was an elected member of the Board of Directors of the European Association of Radiobiology (1978-1993) and president from 1986 to 1988. He was a member of the Board of the International Society of Radiation Research from 1983 to 1991. he was a consulting expert to the Commissariat Français de l'Energie Atomique. He was a member of the Belgian delegation to the working group of experts on "chemoprophylaxis" and to the group "RSG" of commission VIII of NATO. He was a consulting expert in Radiobiology of the "Haut Commissariat à la recherche de la République Algérienne Démocratique et Populaire". Jean René Maisin is also a founding member of the Belgian Committee of Animal Sciences laboratory (BCLAS) and served as secretary and chairman of the Committee, founding member of the Belgian Society of Radiobiology and president of this society (1985-1986) He was a member of the Board of Belgian Radiation Protection Society, he was a member and president of Group IV "chemical carcinogenesis" to the Belgian Superior Council of Cancer, member of the Belgian Society of Pathology, member and president, member of the Council of Welfare of Animals at the Ministry of Health and Family and a member of the Ethic Committee and Vice Chairman of the Committee of the same ministry. He served as member of the American Association for the Advancement of science and member of the New York Academy of Science. He is a recipient of the Medal "Hanns-Langendorff" of the German Association of Radiology in 1994 and of the Bacq and Alexander medal of the European Society of Radiation Biology in 1997. He has been decorated Great officer Order of Crown, Commander Order of Leopold II, Officer Order of Leopold. Dr. Maisin is married to Claudine Derrider, he is father of three and grandfather of six flawless grandchildren.

1998: G.W. Barendsen (Netherlands)

G.W.(Eddie) Barendsen was born in 1927 in the town Groningen, The Netherlands. After finishing high school in 1945, he studied at the State University Groningen. The main subjects were mathematics, physics, chemistry and astronomy, with philosophy and psychology as extra-curricular interests The candidate degree was awarded early in 1948. These studies were interrupted in 1948 due to the obligatory draft in the Dutch army. He finished the military duties as communications officer in early 1950. The doctoral degree was awarded in 1953. From late 1950 he carried out experiments on proportional counters filled with CO2 at high pressures applied for age determinations of archaeological and geological specimens by the measurement of their C-14 radioactivity. He obtained his PhD from Groningen University in 1955. The title of the thesis: “Age determination by measurement of radioactive carbon”. From 1955 to 1956 he continued research on radiocarbon dating as a research associate at the Geochronometric Laboratory of Yale University, New Haven, USA, implementing the proportional counter system developed at Groningen University and developing a scintillation counting system for the C-14 radioactivity. In 1956 he started radiation research as the first biophysicist staff-member and later associate-director of the newly founded Radiobiological Institute (RBI), part of the Health Organization of the Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) in Rijswijk, The Netherlands (1956-1990). From 1957 to 1992 he carried out and guided investigations in biophysics, radiobiology and experimental oncology: A, Effectiveness of different types of ionising radiations for damage to mammalian cells in culture. B, Effectiveness of X-rays and fast neutrons for responses of transplantable tumours in animals C, Studies of late responding normal tissues in animals after irradiation with fractionated doses of X-rays and fast neutrons D, Clinical applications of fast neutrons in the RBI and in the Netherlands Cancer Centre, A v Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam, with Dr.K. Breur, Dr. H. van Peperzeel, Dr. J. Broerse and Dr. J. Batterman. E , Studies on chromosome aberrations and cell transformation in cultured mammalian cells with Dr. J Zoetelief, RBI, Rijswijk and Dr. J.A.Aten and Dr. N.A.P.Franken, Laboratory for Radiobiology and Experimental Oncology, Medical Faculty, University of Amsterdam. F, Studies on combined radiotherapy-chemotherapy effectiveness with cultured cells and experimental tumours G, Microdosimetry of high-LET particles

University appointments. 1958-1970, Lecturer, Institute for Radiation Pathology and Radiation Protection, Leiden University 1968, Visiting Professor, Department of Biophysics, University of California at Berkeley, USA. 1968-1970, Associate Professor in Experimental Radiotherapy, Erasmus University, Rotterdam. 1970-1992, Professor of Radiobiology and Experimental Oncology, Medical Faculty, University of Amsterdam. 1984, Consultant Life Sciences Division, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, NM, USA 1992---, Emeritus Professor, University of Amsterdam

Memberships societies and councils (selection) Netherlands Society for Radiobiology (1959-- ), Secretary-Treasurer (1967-1974), President (1974-1976) Health Council of The Netherlands (1968-1997). Committee Radiation Hygiene. Queen Wilhelmina Fund, Dutch Cancer Society, Scientific Council, (1978-1992). Dutch Organization for Biophysics, Councillor (1968-1974). Maurits and Anna de Kock Fund for the promotion of cancer research, Secretary (1974-1993) and chairman (1981-1993). Inter-University Institute Radiation Pathology and Radiation Protection, member of the board (1980-1992), chairman scientific advisory board (1992-2005). Department of Therapeutic and Biological Radiology, Medical faculty, University of Amsterdam, chairman 1980-1992. International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), member and vice-chairman Committee 1 (1968-1992) International Association Radiation Research (ICRR), Councillor (1970-1979) European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva, Advisor Radiobiology (1974-1092). European Organization for Research on treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Secretary fast neutron therapy project group (1978-1982). International Union on Pure and Applied Biophysics, Committee on Radiation and Environmental Biophysics (1974-1978). Scientific Programme Committee 7th International Congress Radiation Research, held in Amsterdam 1983, Chairman 1979-1983.

Awards: 1950: Royal Dutch Shell student award for personal development. 1976: Dutch Radiological Society, Wertheim-Salomonson award. 1986: European Society for Radiation Oncology, Klaas Breur award 1990: Order of Oranje Nassou, Officer 1998: European Society for Radiation Biology, Bacq and Alexander award.

Publications: More than 300 in scientific journals. Co-editor of several volumes on High-LET radiotherapy Promotor- Thesis-advisor of about 30 PhD candidates Editorial Boards: International Journal of Radiobiology, Biomedicine, Radiotherapy and Oncology, Journal European de Radiotherapy, Oncology, Radiophysique, Radiobiologie.


1999: Johan Broerse (Netherlands)


Johannes Jacobus (Johan) Broerse was born in Amsterdam in 1934. He studied nuclear and molecular physics at the University of Amsterdam. During his military service he worked at the Technology Laboratory of the Defense Research Organisation TNO. In 1961 he joined the staff of the Radiobiological Institute TNO at Rijswijk and performed research in dosimetry and radiobiology of fast neutrons resulting in a thesis on this subject in 1966. His further investigations were connected with the late effects of ionizing radiation. In cooperation with his younger colleague dr. Hans Zoetelief he performed international X-ray dosimetry intercomparisons and formulated dosimetry protocols for radiobiology. In 1974 he had a temporary position at the Department of Radiology, Stanford University USA. He was appointed as professor of Medical Radiation Physics at the University of Leiden in 1986. Subsequently he and his associates performed research on radiation carcinogenesis in experimental animals and on dose reduction and optimization in diagnostic radiology. After his retirement in 1999 which was obligatory in the Netherlands, he fulfilled some advisory functions, including membership of the Dutch Health Council. With a committee of this Council he finalized in 2007 a report on the risks of exposure to ionizing radiation.

Professor Broerse carried numerous functions. Among others, he was a member of the EORTC Fast Neutron Therapy Project Group, council member of the European Late Effects Project Group (EULEP), chairman of the Committee on Dosimetry Standardization (EULEP), chairman of the Report Committee on Neutron Dosimetry for Biology and Medicine(ICRU), member of the International Neutron Dosimetry Intercomparison Committee (ICRU), chairman of the European Clinical Neutron Dosimetry Group (ECNEU), treasurer of the European Radiation Dosimetry Group (EURADOS), president of the European Society for Radiation Biology from 1980 to 1982, president of the Dutch Radiobiological Society, secretary-treasurer for the International Association for Radiation Research and its president from 1995-1999. He was the secretary-general for the 7th Internation Congress of Radiation Research held in Amsterdam in 1983. He received several rewards among others the Award of the "Damon Runyon Memorial Fund" for fundamental physical and biological studies related to neutron radiotherapy in 1967, the Dr Nagai Peace Memorial Prize for fundamental research in radiobiology and radiation protection in Nagasaki in 2000 and the Hans Langendorff medal of the German Association of Radiology in 2004. He was elected Knight in the order of Orange Nassau for outstanding service to the state and society and honorary member of the Swedish Radiobiological Society, the British Association for Radiation Research, the European Late Effects Project Group (EULEP) and the European Radiation Dosimetry Group (EURADOS).

  2000: John Hopewell (UK)

Professor John Hopewell initially graduated with a B.Sc. degree in Botany and Zoology at the University of Hull and subsequently obtained a Ph.D. and D.Sc. in Radiation Biology from the University of London. He moved to Oxford in 1970 and between 1981 and 2001 was the Director of Radiobiological Research at the University of Oxfords and until 2007 the Consultant Radiobiologist to the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust (recently renamed the University of Oxford NHS Trust). He is currently Associate Fellow of the Particle Therapy Cancer Research Institute, University of Oxford. In his time at Oxford, much of his research has been directed to the study of normal tissue responses after therapeutic radiation exposure. This has been in relation to the underlying mechanisms of damage, its potential amelioration, and the understanding of the clinical effects of dose fractionation and dose-rate. While the majority of the studies have involved work with photons, extensive normal tissue studies were also undertaken with fast neutrons (joint studies with the then MRC Radiobiology Unit, Harwell, UK) and more recently with the mixed field irradiation exposure associated with the application of Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT). This latter work was carried out in collaboration with several of the major BNCT Centers around the world, including Helsinki (Finland), Studsvik (Sweden), Brookhaven National Laboratory (USA), Buenos Aries (Argentina), MIT (USA) and the University of Birmingham (UK). Professor Hopewell was a visiting Professor at the University of Birmingham and a Consultant to MIT. The work on skin was also extended to radiological protection and formed the basis for both nation and international guidelines. The findings formed part of ICRP publications 59 (1991) and 85 (2001) and the NCRP Reports l30 (1999) and 168 (2011).

In addition to the Bacq and Alexander Award, which was introduced while he was Hopewell is currently a member of ICRP Committee 3. the President of the then European Society for Radiation Biology (1995-1997), when the change to the European Radiation Research Society (ERRS) was also initiated, Professor Hopewell is the recipient of a number of other national and international awards, including the Roentgen Prize (1985) and Silvanus Thomas Memorial Lecture (1999) of the British Institute of Radiology.  He has also contributed the work of many national and international bodies.  This has included Chair of the LH Gray Trust (1991-1994), Chair of the European Late Effects Project Group –EULEP (1995-2003), Councilor ICRR (1995-2002) and Councilor International Society for Neutron capture Therapy (2002-    ). Professor Hopewell has published more than 370 scientific articles.


  2001: Dudley Goodhead (UK)

Dudley T. Goodhead was Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Radiation and Genome Stability Unit at Harwell, UK, until his retirement in September 2003.  The Unit carried out basic research on the relationship of genome stability to human health, including how the DNA may be damaged by radiation and other agents and how the cellular repair systems act to restore normality.  He continues as a visitor at MRC Harwell and assists a variety of agencies and joint research projects in the UK, the European Union and the USA in evaluating and guiding their research programmes.  His personal research focus has been mainly on the biophysics of radiation effects with particular emphasis on microscopic features of radiation track structure at the atomic, molecular and cellular levels and their consequent radiobiological and health effects.  His work has included the experimental application of a variety of standard and unusual radiation fields to cellular biological systems to probe the mechanisms underlying radiation quality and biological response, and theoretical simulations and analyses of radiation track structure to reveal key microscopic features of the radiations and resulting molecular damage.  Use of ultrasoft X-rays in the 1970s revealed that highly localized clusters of ionizations from single low-energy electrons on the scale of a few nanometers are effective at causing a wide range of biological consequences; subsequent track structure analyses of these and high-LET radiations led to the hypotheses of clustered DNA damage, particularly double-strand breaks of varying complexities.

Dudley Goodhead was born and educated to post-graduate level in South Africa. Thereafter he gained his D.Phil. at the University of Oxford (UK) in 1965 in high-energy particle physics and then went on to academic positions at the University of California (Los Angeles), St Bartholomew’s Hospital (University of London) and the University of Natal (Durban, South Africa).  He joined the MRC Radiobiology Unit at Harwell in 1975. 

Professor Goodhead has served on a variety of national and international committees on evaluation of radiation risks.  These have included the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) in the UK, the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR-VI) radon-risk assessment in the USA, consultancies to the United Nations Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and Working Groups of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) on carcinogenic risk of gamma rays, neutrons and internally-deposited radionuclides, the Royal Society (on risks from depleted uranium) and the Advisory Group on Ionising Radiation (AGIR) of the Health Protection Agency in the UK.  He was chairman of the Committee Examining Radiation Risks of Internal Emitters (CERRIE) in the UK until its final report in October 2004.  He acted as the technical secretariat to the High Level and Expert Group on Low Dose Risk Research (HLEG) in Europe, which in 2009 recommended the development of a Europe-wide platform for this area of radiation research and led to the formation of the MELODI platform.  More recently he served on the Committee for Evaluation of Space Radiation Cancer Risk Model (National Research Council of the National Academies, USA). And he has been scientific director of the annual NASA Space Radiation Summer Schools for 2011-2013.

In June 2002, in the Queen’s birthday honours list, Professor Goodhead was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to medical research. He has been the recipient of various other awards, including the Weiss Medal (Association of Radiation Research, UK), Failla Medal (Radiation Research Society, USA), Douglas Lea Lecturer (Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, UK), Bacq and Alexander Award (European Society of Radiation Biology), Honorary Fellowship of Society of Radiological Protection (UK) and Warren K Sinclair Lecturer (National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, USA) and the Gray Medal (International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements).


  2002: Albert van der Kogel (Netherlands)

Bert van der Kogel was born in Amsterdam in 1946. He studied biology at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and worked from 1971-1984 at the Radiobiological Institute TNO in Rijswijk, The Netherlands, first as a PhD student and later as a staff member. He received his PhD in Radiation Biology in 1979 at the University of Amsterdam.

From 1984-1987 he was  associate professor at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and guest scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, were he worked on the tolerance of spinal cord, lung and colorectum to pi-mesons. In 1987 he moved back to The Netherlands were he was appointed professor of clinical radiobiology and head of the laboratory at the department of Radiation Oncology of the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen. Since 2011 he is emeritus professor in Nijmegen, and visiting professor in the department of Human Oncology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison.

Since 1996 he is Editor for biology of the journal Radiotherapy and Oncology, and from 1998 director of the ESTRO course “Basic Clinical Radiobiology”.

Among the honors he received are the ESTRO Breur Gold medal in 1994, the Bacq and Alexander Award of the European Society of Radiation Biology in 2002, the ICRU Gray Medal in 2009, the ESTRO Honorary Physicist Award in 2011 and the ESTRO lifetime achievement award in 2013. In 2011 he received the Netherlands Royal decoration of Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion. He has over 215 publications in peer reviewed journals.

Dr. van der Kogel worked his whole career on late effects of radiation on normal tissues, with emphasis on the spinal cord as a model of the central nervous system. After starting the laboratory in Nijmegen another main area of research became the tumor microenvironment, notably the immunohistochemical and functional imaging of hypoxia and its dynamics in primary human tumor xenografts.


  2004: A.T. Natarajan (Netherlands)


Adayapalam Tyagarajan Natarajan (Nat) is emeritus professor at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and Visiting Professor at University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy. He was born in Mannargudi, Tamil Nadu, India in 1928. He obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Botany at Annamalai University, specializing in Systematic Botany. He joined the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (I.A.R.I) New Delhi as a post graduate student in the Division of Genetics and Plant Breeding in 1953, obtaining a post-graduate degree (Associate of I.A.R.I) in 1955 and then was appointed as a research assistant in the Cytogenetics section in 1955. He carried out studies under the guidance of Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, on the mutageneic effects of ionizing radiation (X-rays, Fast Neutrons) and chemicals (nitrogen mustard, vegetable oils) on hexaploid wheat, leading to a Ph.D degree of the Delhi University in 1958. He was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship to carry out post-doctoral studies at Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA (1959), State Forest Research Institute and Biochemistry Department of Stockholm University, Sweden (1960). This year with Prof. Lars Ehrenberg was very profitable. During this period in Stockholm, he carried out experiments related to the effects of free radicals, monofunctional alkylating agents etc using barley as a model system. On his return to I.A.R.I. he along with his students studied the effects of radiation and alkylating agents in barley. In 1962 he was appointed as Senior Cytogeneticist at IARI. In 1965, he moved to the Biochemistry Department (later Radiation Biology Department) of Stockholm University. He obtained a Ph.D degree of Stockholm University in 1966 and became a Docent. In 1970, after spending a summer at the University of Zurich (Pof. Werner Schmidt), he started working with mammalian cells concentrating on the influence of heterochromatin in the formation of chromosomal aberrations using different rodent models such as, Chinese hamster, Field voles, Hedge hogs etc., in collaboration with Prof. Alfred Gropp of University of Bonn (West Germany). In 1974 Natarajan moved to Vienna to head the section of Radiation Biology at the International Atomic Energy Agency. In 1975, he was invited by Prof. Frits Sobels to join Leiden University to establish a Cytogenetics section at the Department of Radiation Genetics and Chemical Mutagenesis and became Professor of Radiation Cytogenetics, a position he held till his retirement in 1998. During this period, his studies were focused on the basic mechanisms involved in the formation of chromosome aberrations following exposure to radiations and chemicals. He employed molecular cytogenetic techniques such as Fluoresence in situ hybridization (FISH), comet FISH etc., combined with biochemical techniques. He was also involved in applied aspects of cytogenetics, such as clinical genetics, population monitoring following chemical exposure (Arsenic, Ethylene Oxide, Vinyl chloride) and radiation (biological dosimetry). He has published more than 400 research papers, reviews and book chapters. He edited 10 volumes on congress proceedings. He was member of the editorial board of several journals, such as, Mutation Research (all sections), International Journal of Radiation Biology. Mutagenesis, Brazilian Journal of Molecular Genetics. Along with Prof. Obe he organized 10 International Symposia on Chromosome Aberrations. Twenty students from India, Sweden, The Netherlands, Indonesia, Brazil and Bulgaria obtained their doctor’s degree under his guidance. Over 50 post-doctoral fellows from all over the world worked in his laboratory in Leiden over the years. He coordinated several EURATOM and EU chemical effects projects.

He was awarded several fellowships during his career, Annamalai University Research fellowship (1948-51), Tata Memorial fellowship at I.A.R.I (1953-1955), Rockefeller Foundation fellowship (Brookhaven Lab. USA. 1959), SIDA fellowship (Stockholm University, Sweden, 1960), EMBO fellowship (University of Zurich, 1971), Royal Society of London fellowship (Edinburg University, 1974). He was a visiting professor at University of Bonn (1971,1972), Osaka University (2004). He was Regional Expert in mutation breeding in rice for IAEA/FAO at Bangkok (1966). On behalf IAEA, he helped establishing a Biological Dosimetry Laboratory in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1987) and actively participated in the dose estimation as well as follow up studies on radiation victims of Goiania accident in Brazil (1988 onwards). He has been member of many scientific review committees of several research organizations including, National Radiological Protection Board (UK), Institut de Radioprotection, IRSN, France, GSF, Munich (Germany), Radiation Research Foundation, Hiroshima (Japan), Department of Biotechnology, Government of India (New Delhi). Natarajan received several awards, including European Environmental Mutagen Society Award (1990), Environmental Mutagen Society (USA) Award (2004), Bacq and Alexander Award of the European Radiation Research Society (2004), Life time Achievement Award from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology University (2012, India).

  2005: John.R.K. Savage (UK)

With a first class B.Sc. in botany, and a Ph.D. in plant cytogenetics from Southampton University, I was invited (1956) to join the biophysics section (headed by G J Neary) of the MRC Radiobiology Unit. This Unit, which had been set up to research many aspects of the effects of ionizing radiation on living cells and organisms, was sited at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell, Oxfordshire. This  location provided many different types of radiation, and the facilities to use them for experimental purposes, opening up many novel possibilities of which our Unit made good use. Here I spent 40+ happy years, seeing many changes and participating in many exciting developments in our understanding of cells and chromosomes, and their varied response to radiation and chemical mutagens. The efforts of myself and colleagues are recorded in over 190 publications.When I started, only plant chromosomes were available for critical quantitative studies of directly induced aberrations, and a very thorough foundation had been made from work with Tradescantia microspores by Sax’s group in US and by Lea, Catcheside and Darlington in UK. The biophysics group was very active, and because there were relatively few radiation cytogeneticists in the field, I had the privilege of meeting many of the top people at our frequent “Radiation Research Visiting Club “ gatherings. This group eventually grew into the “Association for Radiation Research” (ARR).I joined the section at the time of the first real challenge to the universally accepted “breakage first” theory – Revell was arguing that we never saw primarily induced breaks; those observed were all failed exchanges. This created a storm, and some bitter polarization, but it stimulated a surge of experiments. I was instrumental in setting up a Tradescantia facility, and the numerous experimental programmes which resulted occupied us for many fruitful years.   My solution the “Site” controversy (“Distortion Hypothesis”) eventually resulted in the award of a D.Sc. degree. In 1962 I was invited to lecture a post-graduate course in radiobiology at Cornell University, Ithaca, USA, and whilst there, I took the opportunity to visit many of the top US radiation cytogeneticists, contacts that proved very valuable in years to come. Eventually, experimental work became possible with mammalian and human cells. The latter gave enormous boost to clinical cytogenetics, in which I developed considerable interest. Through the “Association of Clinical Cytogeneticists” (ACC) I was able to use my expertise for lectures, training courses, examinations, and some collaborative experiments with individuals. The advent of “chromosome banding” opened the field further, and provided a valuable tool to investigate several aberration problems. On retirement, my contributions were honoured by the award of “Emeritus Fellow of the ACC”.

Other awards included life membership of the Genetical Society, Honorary Member of the ARR, and the 1995 “Radiation Induced Chromosomal Aberrations” symposium in Essen was held in my honour (Mutation Research, 366). In later years, I became very concerned about problems associated with the quantification of chromosome damage, in particular of chromatid-type aberrations. The score we record is always determined by the mix of cells present in the observed cell sample.  Cells do not move through their cycle at the same speed, and their movement is subject to dose-dependent radiation perturbation. So, if cell sensitivity changes with phase transit, it becomes impossible to ensure the same mix of cells for scoring at different doses or treatments, precluding valid comparative scores.  This problem (“Imprecision”) is present in many cell populations, and I undertook and published, (with the help of David Papworth), many theoretical studies to attempt a solution. A partial practical solution, at least for irradiated S-phase cells, came with the application of BrdU replication banding techniques.  Replication at the band level is a very defined sequential process, allowing precise in-phase positional placement for any cell. Thus cohorts of cells at the same stage of development can be isolated for scoring irrespective of treatment perturbation.  This “cohort analysis” method stimulated a lot of interesting theoretical and practical work.

In the 1990s came fluorescent dye techniques allowing the unambiguous identification of individual chromosomes – “chromosome painting” – opening up many new valuable analysis  possibilities. For the first time, symmetrical chromosome-type exchanges could now be seen and scored. However, it quickly became apparent that many of the exchanges we had hitherto scored as simple 2-lesion events actually involved 3 or more chromosomes – “Complex Exchanges”. Clearly we have been underestimating the amount of damage produced, the simple classifications of aberrations based on solid staining need revision, and new descriptors and scoring methods need to be found. I spent the closing years of my research contributing to these problems, but many are still not solved.  

Inevitably, of course, in addition to directing the research programmes of our group, many other obligations occurred. For example various functional tasks within the Unit. Numerous visiting workers of several nationalities spent time in my group, and contributed to its work. Membership of editorial boards, with frequent refereeing for several journals. External examiner for numerous Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees at home and abroad. Also supervising Ph.D. work for two of my group. Regular and sporadic lecturing for University courses and conferences at home and abroad. University examination boards. E.g. For several years I was an external examiner for the London University M.Sc. Radiobiology course. Advisor for University academic appointments at home and abroad. Evaluation of grant applications for various Authorities. Member of review boards for a number of Institutions.

Having valued and benefit   ed from the help of so many colleagues over the years, I would like to feel that this B&A award, in addition to its honour, recognises that my contributions have been an encouragement and stimulus to others in the chromosome aberration game.


  2006: Gerhard Kraft (Germany)

Gerhard Kraft was born in 1941 at Heidelberg, Germany. He studied physics at the University of Heidelberg from 1961 to 1967 and did his diploma work in nuclear physics with measurements of the giant nuclear resonance of light nuclei  at the Heidelberg Betatron-accelerator . For his Ph.D. studies he moved in 1968 to the University of Cologne and worked in the group of nuclear solid state physics. At the Cologne Tandem Van De Graaf accelerator he measured the energy loss of Carbon ions in different solid materials using the Doppler- shift of the gamma quanta emitted from the first exited state of the carbon ions. In 1973 he joined the atomic Physics department of the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung, GSI at Darmstadt, where the first experiments could be performed in 1975 at the new accelerator UNILAC. They were focussed on the x-ray emission from super heavy elements that are transiently formed in heavy ion collisions.  Together with the radiobiology group at Giessen ( J. Kiefer ) where his wife Wilma was doing her Ph.D. he started the first radiobiology experiments at GSI  exposing dry yeast cells to very heavy ions up to Uranium. This radiobiology activity was joined later on by the Space Radiobiology group Frankfurt /Cologne calibrating their bio stacks for bio- dosimetric measurements in space. The radiobiology experiments were still in parallel to atomic physics which were partially done at a short sabbatical in 1977 at the CNRS Strasbourg, France.

When the first plans for an upgrade of the GSI accelerators to energies of 15 Ge/V were discussed in 1979, heavy ion tumor therapy became of interest at GSI and Wilma and Gerhard were send for a year to LBL Berkeley in the group of C.A. Tobias and E.A. Blakely in order to get experience in mammalian cell radiobiology and to understand the basics of heavy ion therapy. After return they focussed on experiments with mammalian cells in preparation of ion beam therapy: OER and RBE mainly for light ion beams from protons to Neon. But also the behaviour of the very heavy ions of was of interest and chromosome aberrations were studied. These experiments were performed at the GSI accelerator, at the Max Planck Institute Heidelberg and the GANIL at Caen , France. From the view of radiobiology, Carbon ions emerged as an optimal projectile.

For the technical beam application in therapy he proposed the scanning of a fine pencil beam over the target volume as a novel technique to obtain the ultimate conformity to the target. The construction of the new heavy ion synchrotron SIS (1983-1988 ) brought the chance for the design and construction a prototype of a beam scanning system.

From 1983 Gerhard Kraft was the leader of a slowly growing biophysics group at GSI that focussed on all aspect of carbon beam therapy including treatment planning, beam delivery and dosimetry. In 1993 the construction of an experimental ion beam therapy started. From December 1997 to July 2008 in total 440 patients were treated suffering from tumors in head and neck, along the spinal cord and in the pelvic region. Applying the novel technique of raster-scanning for the first time, the target volume could be exposed with extreme precision to high biologically optimized doses. Because of the low dose to the normal tissue the side effects were extremely low. For most tumor indications a 5 year tumor control rate of 80% to 100% could be reached. Because of this great success heavy ion tumor therapy projects started at Heidelberg and Marburg where he was involved.

G. Kraft was regularly teaching biophysics and basic physics at the Technical University Darmstadt. He wrote more than 150 reviewed articles and contribution to books. After his official retirement he is still active in project on the genetic reactions and the anti-inflammatory action of ionizing radiation (GREWIS) and responsible for the construction of a radon exposure set up for cells and small animals. Gerhard Kraft is a member of the American Society for Radiation Research ,the German Physical Society ( DPG) the European Society for Radiation Research and the German Society of Radiation Research



1994 Honorary Professor for biophysics: G.H. University of Kassel

1999 Honorary Professor for physics: Technical University of   Darmstadt TUD

1999 Erwin Schrödinger award of the Helmholtz Community

2000 Otto Hahn Award of the city of Frankfurt

2006 Bacq and Alexander Award of the European Radiation Research Society

2007 Ulrich Hagen Award of the German Society for Biological Radiation Research

2008 Order of merrit first class of the Federal Republic of Germany

2008 Honorary promotion to Dr. h. c. by  the physics faculty of the Justus Liebig University Giessen

2009 Helmholtz Professor for radiation biophysics at GSI


2007: Iza Szumiel (Poland)

Professor Irena (Iza) Szumiel started her scientific career as biochemist at the Warsaw University and entered the field of radiation biology in 1965 as adjunct at the Institute of Nuclear Research. She recalls that before starting work at the Department of Radiobiology and Health Protection she asked for a radiobiology textbook at the Department. She got a copy of Bacq and Alexander Fundamentals of Radiobiology in French (the English copy was in constant use), read it during her summer vacation and thus prepared began investigations of factors that define cellular radiation sensitivity. This turned to be her favourite topic until now, studied with the use of the L5178Y (LY) murine lymphoma cell model consisting of 2 sublines that differ in radiation sensitivity and many phenotypic features. The role of metal ions in sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide was established in the above cellular model with Dr Marcin Kruszewski as the main co-author. The LY sublines were shown to differ in the content of iron and copper ions in the nuclei and hence, in the extent of Fenton reaction that generates OH radicals. Accordingly – the DNA damage inflicted by hydrogen peroxide treatnent was higher in the LY subline that exhibited higher sensitivity to oxidants and higher iron content. Adaptive response of human lymphocytes was subject of a series of papers with Dr Maria Wojewódzka as the main co-author. The role of cellular signalling involving calcium ions and protein kinase C activity was shown to be crucial for the development of the adaptive response, whereas the kinetics of DNA repair did not show any changes that could be causally related to radioaadaptation. Mechanisms of the cellular response to camptothecin were studied with the use of the same cellular L5178Y model in cooperation with biochemists from the Warsaw University, with Professor Krzysztof Staroñ and Dr Iwona Gr¹dzka as the main co-authors. Cytotoxic and radiosensitising activity of anti-tumour platinum complexes – this topic comprises studies in vitro carried out with the late Professor Nias in 1974-1982 and a recent work on novel complexes synthesised by Professor Kuduk (Wroclaw University).

Professor Szumiel is author or co-author of 117 papers listed in PubMed and numerous review papers in Polish journals. She obtained twice (1973, 1979) an award of the National Council for Atomic Energy for studies in the field of radiobiology; in 1976, 1982, 1986, 2001, 2004 – 5 awards of the Polish Association for Radiation Research for studies in the field of cellular radiobiology; other honours include in 1998 - Maria Sklodowska-Curie medal from the Polish Radiation Research Society; in 2001 – Hanns Langendorff medal from the German Radiation Protection Medical Association.

  2008: Eric Wright (United Kingdom)

Eric Wright is Professor of Experimental Haematology at the University of Dundee Medical School. He is a graduate of the University of Sussex and obtained his PhD from the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Manchester. After research fellowships in the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research in Manchester, in 1980 he was appointed Lecturer in Cellular Pathology at the University of St Andrews. In 1987 he moved to the Medical Research Council’s Radiobiology Unit at Harwell (subsequently re-titled the Radiation and Genome Stability Unit) where he held senior posts until 1999 when he moved to the Chair of Experimental Haematology in The University of Dundee.

Prof Wright is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and a Fellow of the Institute of Biology with a long-standing interest in the regulation of the haemopoietic system and the mechanisms underlying abnormalities of stem cell function, such as bone marrow failure and leukaemia development, as a consequence of radiation injury. In the 1980s his laboratory demonstrated that haemopoietic stem cell proliferation is controlled spatially and temporally by interactions within the bone marrow microenvironment and identified and characterized mechanisms contributing to this regulation including effects resulting from a number of specific gene mutations and exposure to ionizing radiation. In the 1990s he worked with a model of radiation-induced acute myeloid leukaemia and associated studies resulted in major publications describing radiation-induced chromosomal instability. More recently his research has focussed on how genetic factors influence cellular and molecular responses to radiation injury and how inflammatory-type responses contribute to the development of longer-term pathological changes.

Prof Wright is the Director of the Leukaemia Research Fund’s Specialist Programme in Radiation Leukaemogenesis and in 1999 was awarded The David Anderson-Berry Medal of The Royal Society of Edinburgh in recognition of “his outstanding work on cellular, genetic and molecular respects of radiation-induced genomic instability in relation to the development of leukaemia and other diseases”. In 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2007 he was honoured with the Weiss Medal of the Association for Radiation Research, the Bacq Alexander Award of the European Radiation Research Society and was elected a Fellow of the BIR.

Currently he is the Research Dean of the University of Dundee’s Medical School and in recent years has been a Member of The Department of Health’s Committee on Medical Effects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE), Associate Editor of Radiation Research, a member of the Editorial Board of Haematological Oncology, and the Steering Committee of the UK Academic Clinical Oncology and Radiobiology Research Network.. He has also been a member of the UK Government Committee Examining the Radiation Risks of Internal Emitters (CERRIE), the Scottish Executive’s Genetics in Scotland Review Group, the US Department of Energy’s Low Dose Radiation Research Programme Grants Committee, a specialist examiner for the Royal College of Radiologists Faculty of Clinical Oncology He has served as Chair of the Radiation and Cancer Biology Committee of The British Institute of Radiology, the Trustees of the LH Gray Memorial Trust, the Association for Radiation Research, the Scientific Advisory Committee of The Association for International Cancer Research, the Grants Committee of Children with Leukaemia and NASA’s Specialized Centers of Research Grants Committee.

  2009: Sisko Salomaa (Finland)



Professor Salomaa was trained in genetics and started her research career in genetic toxicology (chemical mutagenesis) at the Institute of Occupational health in 1981. She was appointed as Docent (Adjunct Professor) in Genetics at the University of Helsinki in 1990. Since 1987 she has worked for STUK - Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland, first as a scientist then as a senior scientist. In 1992 she was appointed as the Director of Laboratory for Biodosimetry and, since 1997 as Research Director of STUK. The research activities of STUK, under directorship of professor Salomaa, cover various aspects of radiation protection including health, environment, medical exposures, dosimetry and emergency preparededness. In the national level, she has served committees and advisory groups related to environmental health research, nuclear energy, defense, medicine and national security research program. Professor Salomaa has also served as advisor to IAEA in Standing Advisory Group on Nuclear Applications (SAGNA), in European Commission’s Article 31 Group, as Director of WHO’s Collaborating Centre and in Expert Group on the Implications of Radiation Protection Science of OECD/NEA. Her membership of Executive Council of International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) that started in 2004 will continue until 2012. She also joined the ICRP Committee 1 in 2009. Professor Salomaa has coordinated several multi-national EU research contracts, particularly on non-targeted effects and low dose risk. She is a member of the High Level Expert Group on Low Dose Risk that established the low dose risk research strategy for Europe.

  2010: Jolyon Hendry (United Kingdom)


Jolyon H. Hendry obtained a BSc degee in Physics followed by MSc, PhD, and DSc degees in Radiation Biology. He is a radiation biologist with much knowledge of radiation effects on cells and cell constituents, tissues, tumours, organs, animals and humans. Also, he worked on radiobiological mechanisms with reference to improvements in radiotherapy through application of dose-time-fractionation principles, target-cell concepts, predictive biological assays and response modification, analyses of radiotherapy outcome data to deduce values of radiobiological parameters, and radiation effects related to radiation protection.

For many years he was Head of the Experimental Radiation Oncology group at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK. Also, he was a consultant to UNSCEAR; a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Radiation, the UK Government’s Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE), UK Cancer Research committees, British Institute of Radiology and ESTRO committees; a member of working groups of the Royal Society, Health Protection Agency, ICRP and IAEA; chairman of the UK Association for Radiation Research and the LH Gray Trust; and Chief Editor of the International Journal of Radiation Biology for 7 years. He was awarded an Honorary Professorship at the Institute of Radiation Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Tianjin, China, in 1991, Honorary Membership of the UK Royal College of Radiologists in 1993, an Honorary Chair in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Manchester in 1995, and from 2006 he has been a Senior Consultant to the Institute of Radiation Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing. He has been a member of ICRP Committee 1 since 1993, and secretary since 2005. From 2002-07 he was staff member and later Acting Head of the Section of Applied Radiobiology and Radiotherapy in the Division of Human Health, Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, running co-ordinated research and teaching programmes in Radiation Biology applied to Radiotherapy, in particular in developing countries.

He has supervised 16 PhD students and published 250 primary scientific publications, 80 review and conference proceedings articles, 30 correspondence articles to journals, 1 co-authored book and 6 co-edited books. He was a Cancer Research UK core grant holder for many years until 2002, and he also had 20 research grants from oncology and radiation related funding agencies. He was awarded the Roentgen Prize from the British Institute of Radiology in 1982, and the Weiss Medal from the UK Association of Radiation Research in 1999. Since 2007 he has been affiliated to the Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology at the University of Oxford, developing an MSc course in Radiation Biology that started in October 2009, and he is also a Consultant to the Christie Hospital in Manchester.


  2011: Penny Jeggo (United Kingdom)


Penelope (Penny) A Jeggo graduated in microbiology at Queen Elizabeth College, University of London and obtained a PhD in Genetics in Robin Holliday’s laboratory at the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London.  She then undertook post doctoral fellowships with John Cairns at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and Miroslav Radman at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belguim, before returning in 1980 to Robin Holliday’s laboratory and commencing work on the DNA damage responses in mammalian cells. In 1989 she moved to the MRC’s Cell Mutation Unit at the University of Sussex and when the Unit closed in 2001 became a founding member of the Genome Damage and Stability Centre at the University of Sussex. She became a Professorial Fellow of the University of Sussex in 2003.

Prof Jeggo’s early work focused on studying DNA damage responses in lower organisms, but since 1980 she has predominantly focused on the process of DNA double strand break repair in mammalian cells. She isolated the xrs mutants from a mammalian cultured cell line, which have been used world wide to study the process of DNA double strand break repair. In 2004 she showed that the xrs mutants were mutated in Ku80, identifying the first gene involved in DNA non homologous end joining as well as the development of the immune response. Subsequently, she showed that the gene mutated in the Severe Combined Immunodeficient (SCID) mouse encodes the DNA dependent protein kinase, DNA-PKcs, which together with Ku forms the DNA-PK complex.  These represented important findings underpinning subsequent insight into DNA double strand break repair and its role during immune development. These findings led to a search for radiosensitive and immunodeficient patients and the identification of LIG4 Syndrome, the first of several human disorders with defects in DNA double strand break repair and V(D)J recombination.

Throughout her research career, Prof Jeggo has had a deep interest in radiation biology and the issues raised by its use for radiotherapeutic and diagnostic purposes, including aspects of radiation protection. Prof Jeggo has served as a member of an international laboratory at the National Institute for Radiation Science in Chiba, Japan. She has been a member of ICRP and AGIR subgroups evaluating radiation effects, is a member of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE), a member of the MELODI committee and a committee member for UK’s ARR. She has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the EMF Biological Research Trust and CRUK’s Science Funding Committee. She is on the Editorial board of Oncogene, DNA Repair, Nucleic Acids Research, the Biochemical Journal and International Journal of Radiation Biology. She has > 170 publications and eleven PhD students have gained PhD’s in her laboratory.

  2012: Mats Harms-Ringdahl (Sweden)

Mats Harms-Ringdahl is professor in radiation biology and Head of the Centre for Radiation Protection Research at Stockholm University. He obtained his BSc in genetics and chemistry in 1968 at Stockholm University where he also defended his PhD thesis in 1975.The same year he was appointed Associate professor in Physical Biology at the Department of Radiobiology, Stockholm University. After one year as a post doc at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA, he returned in 1976 to Stockholm University and the Department of Radiobiology to hold a position as associate professor (Docent). He stayed in this position until 1991 when he was offered a position as the head of the Radiobiology unit at the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority (SSI). During the first 15 years at Stockholm University he developed his interest in the field of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and their interaction with different cellular targets. The main focus was on interactions with DNA and how different redox active agents could modify the response. In this work, 8-oxo-dG became an often used marker of oxidative damage of DNA and mechanism behind radiation induced 8-oxo-dG was explored. During the time at SSI his research group established an interest in low dose and dose rate research, triggered by the challenge to bridge the gap in knowledge for risk estimates at low doses (< 100 mSv). His team constructed a radiation facility for chronic exposure of cells in culture to dose rates of a few mGy/hour and studies on cellular responses to low doses and dose rates were initiated. One of the main results accomplished in 1998 was a report on the induction of genomic instability in human peripheral lymphocytes and dose rate effect for the induction of apoptosis in lymphocytes

In 1999 he was appointed professor in radiation biology at Stockholm University, a position he presently holds at the department of Genetics, Microbiology and Toxicology. In the last ten years focus has been on studies of biomarkers of low dose exposure where the first substantial progress was the reports on the mechanisms for radiation induced extra cellular 8-oxo-dG where the nucleotide pool could be identified as the main cellular target. His research team could also demonstrate that low doses of radiation (a few mGy) induced a stress response followed by an endogenous production of ROS several magnitudes higher compared to the ROS production caused by direct action of radiation. In collaboration with the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm he and his colleagues has identified extra cellular 8-oxo-dG in urine and blood as a possible biomarker for diagnosis of individual sensitivity in terms of acute adverse effects after tumour therapy. In the last few years the search for biomarkers of low dose exposure includes differential expression of genes and proteins in collaboration with partners in DoReMi. In 2009 Stockholm University funded the Centre of Radiation Protection Research (CRPR) and appointed him as the Head of the Centre, a position that he holds today. In a European perspective, he contributed as an expert in the HLEG report and in the funding of MELODI, emphasising the essential role of the universities for radiation protection research.

  2013: Marco Durante (Italy/Germany)


Marco Durante was appointed as the Director of the Biophysics Department at GSI Helmholtz Center (Darmstadt, Germany) in October 2008  and is now also Full Professor at the Technical University of Darmstadt (Germany) and Adjunct Professor at the Temple University, Philadelphia (PA, USA) and at the Gunma College of Medicine (Japan). He previously served as Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Naples Federico II (Italy), where he got his Ph.D. in Physics in 1992.

Dr. Durante has dedicated his research efforts to the biophysics of heavy ions, with applications in cancer therapy and space radiation protection. He is generally recognized as world leader in the field of particle radiobiology and medical physics in ion therapy. He worked on heavy ion biophysics in several institutes including the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (CA, USA),  the NASA Johnson Space Center (TX, USA), Brookhaven National Laboratory (NY, USA), and the National Institute for Radiological Sciences (Japan), with several seminal experiments on genetic effects of charged particles, shielding, and more recently treatment of moving targets in particle therapy. He developed a new method for biodosimetry of charged particles and a technique for assessment of shielding effectiveness in space using high-energy ions accelerated on ground. Using these methods, he could estimate the late risk of patients undergoing radiotherapy and astronauts returning from long-term space flights, as well as the effectiveness of new materials to be used on the ISS for shielding.

Dr. Durante is co-author of over 230 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals (h-index=27), including high-impact factor reviews on Nature journals, Lancet Oncology, and Review of Modern Physics, and is member of the Editorial Board on several of them. He serves in the European Space Agency (ESA) Life Sciences Advisory Group and in the Program Advisory Committees of the GANIL (France) and KVI (The Netherlands) particle accelerators. He has been awarded the Galileo Galilei prize in 2005 from the European Federation of Organizations for Medical Physics,  the 60th Timofeeff-Ressovsky medal by the Russian Academy of Sciences, the 8th Warren K. Sinclair Award of the US National Academy of Sciences, and the 2013 IBA-Europhysics award for Applied Nuclear Science and Nuclear Methods in Medicine (European Physics Society. He is the current President of the International Association for Radiation Research (IARR).

  2014: Fiona Stewart (UK/Netherlands) 


Dr Fiona Stewart was a senior group leader at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI), Amsterdam, until her retirement in September 2013. She did her PhD research at the Gray Laboratory Northwood UK, under the supervision of Julie Denekamp, on normal tissue damage after radiation combined with hyperthermia. After her PhD (1978) she continued working at the Gray Lab, focusing mainly on late radiation effects in kidney and bladder. She also collaborated with Julie Denekamp and Ana Maria Rojas to investigate the radio-protective effects of amifostine in normal tissues, and to compare this with any potential protection of tumors. 
In 1984 she moved to the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam where she set up a new radiobiology group, together with Adrian Begg and with the support of Harry Bartelink. In Amsterdam she continued to investigate mechanisms of late radiation injury, particularly the long-term recovery potential of tissues and their tolerance to re-irradiation. Another focus of the lab at that time was the interaction between radiation and chemotherapeutic drugs, especially cisplatin, in tumors and normal tissues. 
During the 1990s Fiona set up a pre-clinical program to investigate the clinical potential of photodynamic therapy (PDT) for treatment of small superficial tumors. This pre-clinical PDT program resulted in the successful introduction of clinical PDT for oral cavity and skin tumors and a dedicated PDT unit opened in December 2006.
In recent years the main focus of her lab was on radiation induced endothelial cell and vascular damage in relation to late normal tissue injury. The main focus of these studies was to investigate how radiation induces both inflammatory and thrombotic changes in capillaries and large vessels and how these changes lead to progressive development of tissue damage and to atherosclerosis. 
In addition to her laboratory work, Fiona has been an active member of ESTRO since its foundation in 1981; she was a member of the ESTRO Radiobiology Committee from 2007-2013, a board member from 2010- 2013 and is still a core member of the ESTRO Education Committee. She was also Secretary /Treasurer of the International Association for Radiation Research from 1999-2008, a member of Committee 1 of the International Commission on Radiological Protection from 2000-2012, and Councilor and Board Member for Radiation Research from 2002-2005.


  2015: Rob P Coppes (Netherlands) 

Rob Coppes is professor of radiotherapy, with focus on the radiobiology of normal tissues at the University Hospital Center Groningen, University of Groningen. He obtained his PhD in Molecular Pharmacology at the in 1993. Attracted by the possibility to use a pharmacological approach to attenuate radiation-induced normal tissue damage he undertook a post-doctoral fellowship at department of radiobiology under the supervision of Ton Konings, Arjan Vissink and later Harrie Kampinga at the University of Groningen. In 2000 he moved to the department of Radiotherapy as a clinical radiation biologist and started his own lab at the department of Cell Biology to focus on normal tissue effects of lung and salivary glands. Together with Harm Meertens and Peter van Luijk in collaboration with the KVI Center for Advanced Radiation Technology he studied volume effects in salivary gland, lung and heart using very accurate proton beams and discovered the uneven distribution of stem cells within the salivary gland, with potential of stem cell sparing radiotherapy and the interaction between lung and heart after irradiation. Since 2002 his group started to study the reduction of normal tissue radiation damage by stem cell transplantation. He was coordinator of EU FP6 project ”Further improvement of radiotherapy of cancer through side effect reduction by application of stem cell transplantation” with multiple European normal tissue damage groups. His lab developed in vivo and in vitro models on purification and characterization of mice, rat and human salivary and thyroid gland and esophagus stem/progenitor cells. Recently his group developed a protocol for adult stem cell therapy for radiation-induced hyposalivation and consequential xerostomia, which is now being translated to the clinic. Currently, his group is investigating the possibly of growing patient derived adult tissue stem cells as tissue resembling organoids as well as tumor derived organoids resembling the original tumor to develop personalized medicine and study radiation-induced normal tissue effects and carcinogenesis.

Dr. Coppes published over 100 papers on these topics in all major radiation research journals and some general high impact journals (h-index=28) and presented the data in more than 100 lectures at international and national meetings.

In addition, Rob Coppes is the current president of the Dutch Society of Radiation Biology (NVRB), Councilor for Biology for board of International Association for Radiation Research, member of the ESTRO Radiobiology Committee. Locally he is co-programme leader of Cancer Research Center Groningen (CRCG) research programme; Damage and Repair in Cancer Development and Cancer Treatment (DARE).


  2016: George Iliakis (Germany) 

George Iliakis is Professor and Director of the Institute of Medical Radiation Biology at the Medical School of the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. The focus of his research activities is on the mechanisms of repair of DNA double strand breaks and the application of this knowledge to Radiation Therapy and Radiation Protection. He obtained his PhD from the Institute of Biophysics, University Frankfurt/Main, Germany, in 1978 under the guidance of Professor Wolfgang Pohlit. After postdoctoral training, first in Frankfurt in the same Institute and then at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, he joined Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia in 1985 as an Associate Professor. He was promoted to Professor in 1989 and became Director of the Division of Experimental Radiation Oncology in the department of Radiation Oncology in 1998. In 2001 he returned to Germany as successor of Professor Streffer, the first awardee of this prize. Research in his laboratories has been supported by numerous grants from the NIH, NCI, and NASA in the USA, by the DFG the BMBF and BMWi in Germany and by European Agencies like ESA and the EU. Research initiated before 2000 helped to demonstrate the importance of alternative end-joining in the processing of DNA double strand breaks and its role in genomic instability and carcinogenesis. Present research activities focus on the integration of DNA double strand break repair pathways and checkpoint responses in a flexible apparatus that optimizes processing and adapts to the type of double strand breaks the cell faces.

Dr. Iliakis has published over 220 papers  (h-index=49) on these topics in several major research journals and some general high impact journals, and is member of the board of several of them. He has presented his data in numerous lectures as invited speaker at international and national meetings.

George Iliakis is the current president of the German Society of DNA Repair Research. He has been President of the Radiation Research Society, USA, as well as of the German Society of Radiation Research. He is a recipient of the Mike Fry award of the RRS, as well as of the Ulrich Hagen Award of the GBS.




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