The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Gold Medal for Radiation Protection to Ethel S. Gilbert at National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics, MA, USA. She has notably advanced the scientific understanding of the carcinogenic effects of radiation exposures at low doses and contributed to radiation protection.
Dr Gilbert is an expert on exposure to inhaled alpha emitters (plutonium and radon), as well as on the statistical effects of uncertainty of doses, errors in radiation dose estimates, and their impact on the relationship of cancer risk to radiation dose. She is highly regarded for her work on leukaemia risk in nuclear workers, thyroid cancer risk from 1-131, and lung cancer related to plutonium exposure. Much of this work has been accomplished or expanded in the past ten years.
Recently, Dr Gilbert increasingly turned her attention to cancer survivor research, evaluating late effects of radiotherapy among survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma, cervical, testicular, and other solid cancers, thus moving the second cancer field forward and increasing our understanding of the separate and joint effects of radio- and chemotherapy on second cancer risks. Her results have contributed importantly to modern radiotherapeutic approaches to minimise late effects.