Pragati Gole Advani, M.D., Dr.P.H., M.P.H. joined the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB) as a Cancer Research Training Award post-doctoral fellow in November 2017. Dr. Advani earned her doctoral degree from the University of Texas, School of Public Health in May 2016 with a major in health promotion and behavioral sciences and minor in cancer epidemiology. During doctoral program, she served as a Susan G. Komen pre-doctoral fellow and her dissertation examined disparities in patient adherence to surgical management of breast cancer and survivorship practices at the MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC). During the last year, Dr. Advani served as a first-year post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Radiation Oncology at the MDACC, where she worked on a population-based study examining the burden of local therapy (surgery and radiation) decisions and associated outcomes among older breast cancer patients. In May 2011, Dr. Advani earned her M.P.H from the Western Kentucky University with a concentration in Health education and Leadership studies. In October 2008, she earned her degree in Medicine from University of Seychelles. At the REB, Dr. Advani is working with Lindsay Morton, Ph.D., senior investigator, to broaden her experience in cancer survivorship research by investigating etiology for treatment-related second cancers.
David Borrego, Ph.D., joined the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB) as a postdoctoral fellow in June 2016. Dr. Borrego earned a B.S. in nuclear and radiological engineering (2010) and both an M.S. (2012) and Ph.D. (2016) in biomedical engineering with a concentration in medical physics from the University of Florida. His doctoral dissertation work focused on assessment of organ doses for fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures. Dr. Borrego’s main research interests are in Monte Carlo estimation of organ doses for patients undergoing radiography and fluoroscopy examinations and organ dose reconstruction based on occupational radiation exposure. In REB, Dr. Borrego is working closely with Choonsik Lee, Ph.D., investigator, REB, Martha Linet, M.D., M.P.H., senior investigator, REB, and Cari Kitahara, Ph.D., M.H.S., investigator, REB, on estimating organ and tissue-specific absorbed doses in members of the U.S. Radiologic Technologist Cohort and for use in epidemiological studies.
Yingxi (Cimo) Chen, M.D., Ph.D, joined the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB) as a postdoctoral fellow in September 2017. Dr. Chen received a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine (2011) from the Sichuan University and a M.P.H. (Res) (2013) and Ph.D in Epidemiology (2017) from the Australian National University. For her dissertation research, Dr. Chen estimated the burden of gastrointestinal infections in middle-aged and older adults, and investigated factors that were associated with adverse clinical outcomes using linked data from a large-scale cohort study to multiple administrative and clinical databases. In the Radiation Epidemiology Branch, Dr. Chen is working with Dr. Amy Berrington de González, D.Phil., Branch Chief and senior investigator, REB, on several projects with the goal of evaluating trends in disease incidence and mortality data.
Pavel Chernyavskiy, Ph.D., started his joint appointment in the Biostatistics Branch (BB) and Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB) as a postdoctoral fellow in July 2015. He earned a B.S. in economics from SUNY Binghamton in 2007, and both M.S. and Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Nebraska in 2015. For his dissertation research, Dr. Chernyavskiy worked on developing methods for diagnosis and evaluation of traumatic brain injuries in college athletes based on a spatio-temporal model of electroencephalogram (EEG) data collected from the participants. In DCEG, Dr. Chernyavskiy is jointly mentored by Mark Little, D.Phil., senior investigator, REB, and Philip Rosenberg, Ph.D., senior investigator, BB. In REB, he is currently working on large-scale spatial interpolation methods applied to modeling natural background gamma radiation and environmental radiation exposures as they relate to childhood and other cancers. In BB, he is working on extensions of the age-period-cohort (APC) model to account for various types of subgroup heterogeneities in cancer rates, e.g. heterogeneity due to race, cancer registry, and geographic location.
Keith T. Griffin, M.S., joined the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB) as a postbaccalaureate fellow in June 2017. He earned both his B.S. (2015) and M.S. (2016) in nuclear and radiological engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Previously, Mr. Griffin worked two summers with the Center for Radiation Protection Knowledge team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as an intern with the Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis Program. As part of his core research interests, he has employed Monte Carlo computational simulations to calculate dose coefficients associated with external exposure to hundreds of radionuclides in different environmental scenarios. Currently at NCI, he is working under the mentorship of Choonsik Lee, Ph.D, senior investigator, REB, to perform patient-specific computational dosimetry to explore the link between organ-absorbed dose and a patient’s body type during medical procedures or during environmental exposures.
Megan Herr, Ph.D., joined the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB) as a postdoctoral fellow in October 2015. She received her Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York in 2015. Her doctoral dissertation work was focused on antidepressant use and the risk of central nervous system metastasis. Dr. Herr’s research interests include the etiology of second cancers within the setting of hematologic malignancies. Dr. Herr will be working under the mentorship of Lindsay Morton, Ph.D., senior investigator, REB, on immune-related risk factors for second cancers.
Gleb Kuzmin, B.S., joined the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB) as a predoctoral fellow in August 2015. Mr. Kuzmin received a B.S. in radiation physics from the University of Texas, Austin in May 2013. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering with a specialization in health physics at Texas AM University. Throughout his education and research experience, Mr. Kuzmin has worked on various topics in medical physics, including medical dosimetry, computer phantoms, and Monte Carlo simulations. In REB, he is working under the mentorship of Choonsik Lee, Ph.D, investigator, and is focusing on projects related to organ dose reconstruction of proton therapy patients.
Matthew Mille, Ph.D., joined the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB) as a postdoctoral fellow in January 2016. Dr. Mille received his doctorate in nuclear engineering and science in 2013 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Prior to joining REB, Dr. Mille served as a National Research Council postdoctoral associate in the Radiation Physics Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Mille’s research centers on computer simulations and metrology related to the delivery, detection, and dosimetry of ionizing radiation in support of important problems in medical imaging, radiation therapy, radiation protection, and homeland security. His research has touched on the need to optimize the radiation dose received by patients undergoing medical imaging exams or radiation treatment for cancer, as well as the need to detect and accurately quantify radioactivity inside the body resulting from planned nuclear medicine procedures or accidental contamination during a radiological emergency. The key tools of his research are physical and computational human body phantoms, which are used in conjunction with experiments or Monte Carlo radiation transport simulation. In REB, Dr. Mille works with his primary mentor, Choonsik Lee, Ph.D., investigator, to develop tools for performing organ dosimetry in support of retrospective epidemiological studies looking at the risk of second cancers in radiotherapy patients. Dr. Mille is currently exploring the finite-element multigroup discrete ordinates method as an alternative to Monte Carlo for performing dose calculations on large patient cohorts.
Byron Sigel, B.A., joined the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB) as a postbaccalaureate fellow in June 2017. Mr. Sigel graduated with a B.A. in biological chemistry from Grinnell College in May 2016. Prior to joining REB, he worked at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders with Dr. Thomas Friedman. Mr. Sigel previously worked as an intern at NTT Medical Center, Hiroshima University, Japan, and the Washington State University College of Pharmacy. At Washington State University College of Pharmacy, he worked on the formation of nanoparticles from 3LL lung carcinoma cells with Dr. Zhenjia Wang. Mr. Sigel is currently working with Lindsay Morton, Ph.D., Ph.D., senior investigator, REB, on the Long-Term Follow-Up Study of Retinoblastoma Survivors and the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS).
Raquel Velazquez-Kronen, M.S., joined the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB) as a predoctoral fellow in July 2016. She earned a B.S. in interdisciplinary studies at the University of Central Florida in 2012, and an M.S. in epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University at Albany, SUNY (Year). Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in cancer epidemiology at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. During her master’s training, she worked with the New York State Cancer Registry, assessing racial and ethnic disparities in breast and colorectal cancer diagnosis. Raquel was a previous summer fellow at REB. For her doctoral dissertation, she is working under the mentorship of Martha Linet, M.D., M.P.H., senior investigator, and Cari Kitahara, Ph.D., tenure-track investigator, on evaluating cancer risks associated with occupational radiation exposure in the United States Radiologic Technologists Cohort.
Daphnée Villoing, Ph.D., joined the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB) as a postdoctoral fellow in April 2016. Dr. Villoing received an M.Sc. in biomedical engineering (2010), an M.Sc. in medical physics (2011), and a Ph.D. in medical physics (October 2015) from Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse, France. Her doctoral dissertation work was focused on the impact of the Monte Carlo code GATE on imaging and dosimetric calculations for targeted radionuclide therapy. Dr. Villoing’s main research interests are Monte Carlo modelling, dosimetry of ionizing radiation in medical imaging and radiation therapy, radiation protection, and computational anthropomorphic models for medical imaging and radiation therapy. In REB, Dr. Villoing is working on the calculation of organ doses to patients who underwent diagnostic nuclear medicine procedures between the early 1960s and the present, under the supervision of Choonsik Lee, Ph.D. ,and Vladimir Drozdovitch, Ph.D. She is also involved in the evaluation of historical trends for occupational doses received by participants in the U.S. Radiologic Technologists Study and the U.S. Nuclear Medicine Technologists Pilot Study from 1960-2010, under the supervision of Cari Kitahara, Ph.D. Another component of her postdoctoral work is to estimate uncertainty and to increase dosimetric accuracy for organ doses for patients who underwent nuclear medicine procedures, using Monte Carlo radiation transport coupled with computational human phantoms, under Dr. Lee’s supervision.Scientific Publications - Daphnée Villoing
Diana Withrow, Ph.D., joined the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB) as a postdoctoral fellow in May 2016. Dr. Withrow earned her Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health in 2016. Working with Dr. Loraine Marrett, her doctoral research comprised the first national-level analysis of cancer survival among First Nations and Métis adults in Canada. In 2010, Dr. Withrow earned an M.Sc. in epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr. Withrow’s research interests include socio-demographic and economic disparities in survival and survivorship, the role of therapy on second cancer risk, and the optimal application of survival analysis techniques to these research areas. At NCI, Dr. Withrow is working with Amy Berrington de González, D.Phil., Branch Chief and senior investigator, REB, and Lindsay Morton, Ph.D., senior investigator, REB. Dr. Withrow is currently working on several projects with the goal of characterizing patterns in second cancer incidence, particularly among breast cancer survivors.