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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Michele Doody, Radiation Scientist, Retires from NCI

Posted on January 08, 2019

Michele Doody studied the role of low-dose radiation in carcinogenesis from both diagnostic and occupational exposures

Michele Doody

Michele Morin Doody, M.S., a staff scientist in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB), retired at the end of December 2018 after more than 30 years of federal service. Ms. Doody managed a case-control study of diagnostic x-ray procedures and risk of leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma in the Kaiser HMO setting. She also investigated the risk of breast cancer in young women with scoliosis who underwent multiple x-ray procedures to monitor their spinal curvature and found a borderline, dose-response excess risk. In addition, she managed a study of cancer mortality among a large cohort of adult patients treated for hyperthyroidism. 

Ms. Doody managed the field work for the United States Radiologic Technologists (USRT) study, a nationwide cohort of 146,000 U.S. radiologic technologists in which she oversaw four cycles of questionnaires, a major dosimetry effort to reconstruct occupational radiation doses, and collection of biological samples. Ms. Doody helped expand the study in new directions to assess cancer and cataract risks in technologists conducting nuclear medicine and/or fluoroscopically-guided procedures. In 2018, Ms. Doody received an NCI group award for this landmark occupational radiation study. “I will miss the meticulous and thoughtful approach Ms. Doody employed on multiple projects throughout our long-standing collaboration,” commented Dr. Martha Linet, senior investigator and principal investigator of the USRT.

Ms. Doody received a B.S. in biology from Stonehill College in 1977 and an M.S. in epidemiology from the University of Massachusetts. She joined the Environmental Epidemiology Branch in the Division of Cancer Cause and Prevention in 1980 as a Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service. Medically discharged from the Commissioned Corps in 2007, she immediately resumed work as a civil servant. Ms. Doody transferred to the Radiation Epidemiology Branch shortly after its founding in 1984.