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Norman J. Kleiman

Associate Research Scientist of Environmental Health Sciences

and:
Director, Eye Radiation and Environmental Research Laboratory
Biography:
Norman J. Kleiman, PhD, works at the intersection of public health, radiation research and ophthalmology, often using the eye as a model system to study the effects of environmental exposures, and ionizing radiation in particular, on human health. His work on NASA and DOE funded research is directed towards understanding how exposure to small amounts of low-LET radiation, like X-rays, or high energy space radiation, causes cataract in animal models, including those that have gene defects involving DNA damage recognition and repair or cell cycle control. Other research of Dr. Kleiman estimates relative risk of radiation cataract in medical workers such as interventional cardiologists and associated nursing personnel following occupational exposure to X-ray. A collaborative study with Ukrainian colleagues examines radiation risk in Chernobyl accident cleanup workers, and a NIEHS funded project investigates the potential relationship between arsenic exposure and eye pathology. Dr. Kleiman also studies how radiation or other environmental stresses cause DNA damage, misrepair and mutagenesis that lead to disease and how individual genetic determinants influence risk. These investigations help in formulating appropriate risk policies and aid in development of human radiation exposure guidelines as well as having important therapeutic implications for radio- and/or chemo-sensitive subsets of the human population.

Dr. Kleiman is a technical cooperation expert for the International Atomic Energy Agency and serves on scientific committees of the National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP) and the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP).
Education & Training:

    PhD, 1985, Vanderbilt University

    BS, 1979, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Selected
New York City
Activities:
    NYAS Science Research Training Program (SRTP) Mentor Project URL: http://www.nyas.org/programs/education_science.asp

    http://www.nyas.org/programs/education_science.asp

    Judge, NYAS NYCSEF Competition Project URL: http://www.nyas.org/programs/education_nyc.asp

    http://www.nyas.org/programs/education_nyc.asp

    Judge, NYAS JSHS Competition Project URL: http://www.nyas.org/programs/education_junior.asp

    The Metro NYC Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) provides a forum for High School students to present the results of their original research in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 75 semi-finalists are invited to give ten minute oral presentations, based both on their performance at the NYC Science & Engineering Fair and the quality of their submitted research paper. Five finalists are awarded an expense-paid trip to the National Symposium where the regional 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers receive tuition scholarship awards.

Selected
Global
Activities:
    ICRP Task Group on Tissue Reactions and Non-Cancer Effects of Radiation, Committe 1 Project URL: http://www.icrp.org

    The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), a multi-national, independent network of specialists in various fields of radiological protection, provides recommendations and guidance on all aspects of protection against ionizing radiation to the general public and to governmental regulatory bodies and agencies. Its reports are published by Elsevier in the "Annals of the ICRP". The ICRP uses Task Groups of specialists (performing defined tasks) and Working Parties (developing ideas) to prepare its reports. At any one time, about one hundred scientists are actively involved in the work of the ICRP.
    Countries: World

    U.S. Director; Ukranian American Chernobyl Ocular Study (UACOS)
    The Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident in 1986 and resultant explosion and fire caused radioactive contamination of large areas of Belarus and Ukraine. More than 250,000 individuals (Liquidators) were involved in clean-up and maintenance activities at the site. Many thousands were exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation. The Ukranian American Chernobyl Ocular Study (UACOS) was established in 1996 to monitor the effects of this radiation exposure on the eyes of clean-up workers. Among eye tissue, the lens is most radiosensitive. Time and dose dependent development of posterior subcapsular cataracts (psc) following radiation exposure is well established as a marker of radiosensitivity. The goals of the UACOS are to monitor development of psc in a subset of the Liquidator population that undergoes periodic health and ophthalmological examinations and for whom there is good bio-dosimetry data associated with the clean-up efforts. In particular, this multi-decade, longitudinal study measures radiation cataract incidence, non-subjectively grades and records lens opacification using Scheimpflug imaging and, in cases where cataracts are surgically removed, stores lens capsule-epithelial fragments for biochemical and molecular biological analysis. To date, findings from this study have led to a significant lowering of the supposed cataract "threshold" radiation dose to about 130 mSv, and have called into question the prevailing view of radiation cataract as a deterministic event. If, in point of fact, radiation cataract development is not deterministic but instead, stochastic, with no radiation threshold, then re-evaluation of current risk-assessment standards is warranted.
    Countries: Ukraine

    NCRP Scientific Committee SC 2-3: Radiation Safety in Image-Guided Interventional Procedures
    The National Council on