Accomplishments: Department of Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences

March 26, 2020
Francis Cucinotta (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) has been honored with the 2020 Harry Reid Silver State Research Award for his outstanding research achievements. Cucinotta's work has garnered national and international recognition. One of UNLV's most prestigious awards, the Harry Reid Silver State Research Award was created in 2001 to honor then-U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, who has contributed significantly to research in Nevada and to recognize faculty who have performed research that is...
February 19, 2020
Chad Hensley (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Educator Award from the Association of Collegiate Educators in Radiologic Technology (ACERT). Presented at the organization’s national conference in early February, this singular recognition for educators is based on several factors including a demonstrated dedication and significant contributions to improving the quality and progress of education in radiologic sciences and his ongoing...
June 13, 2019
Chad Hensley (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) accepted an invitation by Gov. Steve Sisolak to attend the signing of Nevada Senate Bill 130, which mandates completing an education-based licensing program for those using ionizing radiation for medical imaging or therapy purposes. Previously, the state did not require specific education for those using X-rays, nuclear medicine, computerized tomography (CT), and other modalities. Hensley, who co-founded the Nevada Society of Radiologic...
June 7, 2019
Francis Cucinotta (Health Physics) served as guest editor for a special issue of Radiation and Dosimetry, which focused on the 17th International Symposium on Microdosimetry that addressed ionising radiation quality, molecular mechanisms, cellular effects, and their consequences for low-level risk assessment and radiation therapy. He also co-authored with Eliedonna Cacao (Health Physics) “Risks of Cognitive Detriments after Low Dose Heavy Ion and Proton Exposures,” which concluded that future...
May 20, 2019
Francis Cucinotta (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) accepted an invitation to speak during the National Academy of Sciences’ Gilbert W. Beebe Symposium on the Future of Low-Dose Radiation Research in the United States. His talk focused on systems radiation biology, which addressed the government’s potential responsibilities in this area. He cited as examples the implications of 80 million computerized tomography scans completed in the United States each year, the reactor accidents in...
March 4, 2019
Heidi Shelton (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) presented “Digital Radiography: When the Safety of Low Dose Radiation Creates Sloppiness” during the Association of Collegiate Educators in Radiologic Technology annual conference. The lecture identified poor practices that increase radiation exposure to technologists and patients, addressed various clinical case scenarios, and encouraged discussions about improving and implementing safety checklists.
December 18, 2018
Frank Cucinotta (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) co-authored five articles that recently appeared in peer-reviewed journals. Three of the studies revealed important findings about the age dependence of impaired cognition during radiation treatment of brain cancers; defined a new international standard to format various types of DNA damage, and theoretically modeled pion interaction cross sections in cosmic ray interactions. Two others examined the mechanisms of neuron morphology changes...
November 8, 2018
Janice Pluth (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) is the corresponding author of the paper “Genetic Variation and Radiation Quality Impact Cancer Promoting Cellular Phenotypes in Response to HZE Exposure,” which appears in-press within the journal Life Sciences in Space Research. This work used various normal mammary epithelial strains, with and without heterozygote genetic variations for DNA repair genes. The study reveals that genomic instability is higher in the heterozygote variant...
September 20, 2018
Frank Cucinotta (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) co-authored “Cancer and Circulatory Disease Risks for a Human Mission to Mars: Private Mission Considerations,” which concluded that younger-aged participants on a privately funded mission to Mars would experience significant increases in cancer risks compared to typical astronauts, and risks for degenerative diseases are likely to be increased among higher-aged participants. The article is slated to appear in the journal Acta...
July 5, 2018
Janice Pluth (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) received funding from NASA’s space biology program for her study “Microgravity Affects on Mammary 3D Tissue Architecture and Role of Stem Cells and Genetics.” She was one of only 15 investigators in the nation to have earned a grant award from the space biology program, which is managed by the Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications Division in NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at the agency's...
April 9, 2018
Frank Cucinotta (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) received the Radiation Research Society’s Failla Award, which recognizes his history of significant contributions to radiation research. The annual award will be presented during the society’s yearly meeting in September.
January 29, 2018
Frank Cucinotta (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) co-edited an e-book, “Charged Particles in Oncology,” which was published by Frontiers in Oncology. The publication addresses how the use of charged particles in cancer treatment, which allows for more sparring in normal tissues than X-rays, and protection of astronauts from space radiation share many common topics, and can learn from each other.