Dr. Wesley Bolch will travel to Vienna this June to serve as a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). Bolch is the associate dean for academic affairs for the University of Florida College of Engineering, and a professor of biomedical engineering and medical physics in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering.
UNSCEAR was established in 1955 by the UN General Assembly in response to widespread concerns about the effects of ionizing radiation on human health and the environment. Over the decades, UNSCEAR has evolved to become the world authority on global levels and biological effects, including genetic disease and cancer, of ionizing radiation from all sources – environmental, occupational, and medical.
“This appointment, which is one of the highest honors in the field of radiological protection and constitutes a world-wide recognition of the unique work performed by UF graduate students in the area of scalable and realistic anatomic models of human anatomy,” said Bolch. “Recently, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) adopted the UF series of anatomic models of pediatric, fetal, and pregnant female anatomy to use as their international standards. These models establish internationally recognized limits and guidelines on radiation organ dose from occupational, environmental, and medical exposures.”
Dr. Bolch will assist the delegation in the areas of dose assessment from all sources of radiation exposure – both man-made and natural. Bolch is the director of the Advanced Laboratory for Radiation Dosimetry Studies at UF, and has affiliate faculty appointments within the departments of pediatrics in the College of Medicine and small animal clinical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine. He manages a broad research program projects, including:
- constructing high-resolution models of the skeleton and kidneys to support dose-response studies in radionuclide therapy and radiation epidemiology,
- developing scalable NURBS-based and voxel-based computational phantoms of adult and pediatric patients and associated software for organ dose assessment in nuclear medicine, computed tomography, interventional fluoroscopy, and radiotherapy,
- developing stereotactic kilovoltage x-ray treatments for age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma, and
- stochastic modeling of worker inhalation and gamma-ray exposures following radiological accidents and potential terrorist events.
He has been a member of the Society of Nuclear Medicine’s Medical Internal Radiation Dose (MIRD) Committee since 1993, a member of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) since 2005, and a member of Committee 2 of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) since 2005.
UNSCEAR was responsible for laying down the scientific grounds that led to the prohibition of nuclear weapon testing 1963. The committee systematically reviews and evaluates global and regional trends of exposure, influencing the programs of international bodies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP).
Wesley E. Bolch, PhD, PE
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