Our dear friend and colleague, Elaine Ron, passed away on Saturday 20 November 2010 from cancer. A Senior Investigator at the US National Cancer Institute, Elaine was an internationally renowned expert in the health effects of exposure to radiation, including medical, occupational, and environmental settings. Her earliest work on the effects of treatment for tinea capitis in Israel is considered a groundbreaking classic. She led research clarifying the risks related to external radiation among atomic bomb survivors and, most recently, was conducting a study of persons who received CT scans before the age of 18 years. She investigated the effects of internal radiation through several cohorts of patients exposed to diagnostic or therapeutic I-131 and among persons exposed to radionuclides from the Chernobyl accident and the Mayak nuclear facility in Ozyorsk, Russia. She had a long-standing interest in the etiology of thyroid tumors, and led an international effort that pooled 13 studies and contributed greatly to our understanding of the disease. She joined NCI in 1986 and served as Chief of the Radiation Epidemiology Branch from 1997 to 2002. She served on numerous expert radiation committees including Committee 1 of the International Commission of Radiation Protection, and was a member (2007-2010) and Chairperson of the Scientific Council (2008) of the International Agency for Research on Cancer. She also served on the Public Health Committee of the American Thyroid Association.
Elaine had great warmth, humor, and forthrightness, with a passion to fight injustice. She will be deeply missed.