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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Peter Inskip and Alice Sigurdson Retire from NCI

In summer 2015, Peter D. Inskip, Sc.D., and Alice J. Sigurdson, Ph.D., retired from NCI. They both contributed to the rigorous scientific excellence of DCEG’s Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB), including the organization of REB’s Radiation Epidemiology and Dosimetry Course (Dr. Inskip in 2004 and 2007; Dr. Sigurdson in 2011).

Peter Inskip

Peter Inskip

As a senior investigator in REB, Dr. Inskip led high-impact research on second cancers after childhood cancer, including a study on risk of breast cancer and central nervous system tumors following radiation treatment in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS). He also served on the steering committee for the CCSS.

In addition, he initiated a comprehensive case-control study of brain tumors in adults. Dr. Inskip and collaborators evaluated a large number of possible environmental and genetic causes of brain tumors, including the first-ever analysis of the possible effects of cellular telephones. The study provided key data demonstrating a reduced risk of glioma among persons with a history of allergies and other immune disorders. He also studied cancer incidence among Chernobyl clean-up workers in Baltic countries.

Dr. Inskip’s contributions to REB include his deep methodologic expertise and generous mentoring.

Dr. Inskip received a Sc.D. in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1989, after which he joined NCI as a fellow. He left NCI in 1995 to accept a position as Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University. Dr. Inskip returned to NCI as an investigator in 1998 and was appointed senior investigator in 2004.

Alice Sigurdson

Alice Sigurdson

As a staff scientist in REB, Dr. Sigurdson helped to incorporate molecular and genetic epidemiological methods into studies of medical radiation and cancer etiology, in particular studies of breast and thyroid cancer.

Dr. Sigurdson led a study of thyroid cancer following radiotherapy among childhood cancer survivors. She also investigated cancer risk from medical imaging, conducting studies of thyroid and breast cancer among the U.S. Radiologic Technologists cohort. Dr. Sigurdson served on the Radiation Effects committee of the International Commission on Radiological Protection, and as an associate editor at Radiation Research.

Dr. Sigurdson was an enthusiastic mentor and social organizer for REB, coordinating everything from running groups to events for summer students. She also was instrumental in the recruitment of REB postdoctoral fellows and led a committee to consider new approaches for recruiting and outreach.

Dr. Sigurdson received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Houston School of Public Health in 1997. She completed her postdoctoral training at the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Sigurdson served one year as an instructor at M.D. Anderson, after which she joined REB in 1999.