Our Team

Isabelle Thierry-Chef is the Head of the Medical Radiation Group within the Radiation Programme of ISGlobal. She has expertise on dose reconstruction for epidemiological studies on the effects of exposure to ionising radiation. With a main background in environmental sciences and radiation protection, she received her PhD in 2000 for her work on the reconstruction of organ doses and quantification of associated uncertainties for the 15-Country Study on Cancer Risk among Radiation Workers in the Nuclear Industry.

In the last 15 years, she engaged herself in studying the potential impact of medical exposure to ionising radiation, with particular attention paid to children, as they are more sensitive to ionizing radiation than adults. A wide group of exposed children are those involved in CT examinations. Within the EPI-CT project (International Paediatric CT scan study), Dr Thierry-Chef was the coordinator of the dose reconstruction workpackage and she is currently coordinating the workpackage devoted to paediatric scanning within the MEDIRAD project with overall scientific coordination by Prof Elisabeth Cardis of ISGlobal.

Dr Thierry-Chef is the coordinator of the European funded HARMONIC project, starting in June 2019. The project, devoted to assessing the health impact of cardiac fluoroscopy and modern radiotherapy in paediatrics, will be conducted over 5 years.

Lines of research

  • Potential health effects of paediatric exposure to ionising radiation in medical settings. Medical exposure to ionising radiation results from diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. The effects of exposure to CT scanning in childhood are currently being investigated as doses are relatively high compared with doses from conventional radiology and the proportion of the exposed population is sufficient to be of public health concern. As survival of paediatric cancer and cardiac patients continues to increase, there is a great need to understand the long-term effects of these treatments. We are therefore setting-up two European cohorts to further investigate the biological and health effects of modern radiotherapy modalities in paediatric cancer patients, also investigating their quality of life and X-ray guided cardiac catheterization in paediatric patients with heart defects
  • Exposure of workers in the nuclear industry. Cohorts of nuclear workers are very informative and complementary to epidemiological studies of Japanese survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as they provide evidence on risks associated with protracted or repeated low-dose exposures and as such are more relevant to the public and health practitioners.
  • Reconstruction of doses and quantification of uncertainties. Radiation Epidemiology aims at quantifying the risk of cancer or other outcomes in populations exposed to medical, occupational, or environmental radiation. To do so, the estimation of radiation doses received by the individuals of concern is essential. These doses need to be reconstructed from the available source of data and quantification of uncertainties is essential as the main impact the risk analyses.

Main publications

Bernier MO, Baysson H, Pearce MS, Moissonnier M, Cardis E, Hauptmann M, Struelens L, Dabin J, Johansen C, Journy NMY, Laurier D, Blettner M, Le Cornet L, Pokora R, Gradowska P, Meulepas JM, Kjaerheim K, Istad T, Olerud HM; Sovik A, Bosch de Basea M, Thierry-Chef I, Kaijser M, Nordenskjöld A, Berrington de Gonzalez A., Harbron RW, Kesminiene A. Cohort Profile: the EPI-CT study: A European pooled epidemiological study to quantify the risk of radiation-induced cancer from paediatric CT. Int J Epidemiol. 2018 Nov 2.

Journy NMY, Dreuil S, Boddaert N, Chateil JF, Defez D, Ducou-le-Pointe H, Garcier JM, Guersen J, Habib Geryes B, Jahnen A, Lee C, Payen-de-la-Garanderie J, Pracros JP, Sirinelli D, Thierry-Chef I, Bernier MO. Individual radiation exposure from computed tomography: a survey of paediatric practice in French university hospitals, 2010-2013. Eur Radiol. 2018 Jan;29(1):31-40.

Harbron R, Dreuil S, Bernier M-O, Pearce M, Thierry-Chef I, Chapple C-L and Baysson H. Patient radiation doses in paediatric interventional cardiology procedures: a review". J Radiol Prot. 2016 Dec;36(4):R131-R144

Thierry-Chef I, Richardson DB, Daniels RD, Gillies M, Hamra GB, Haylock R, Kesminiene A, Laurier D, Leuraud K, Moissonnier M, O'Hagan J, Schubauer-Berigan MK, Cardis E; INWORKS Consortium. Dose Estimation for a Study of Nuclear Workers in France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America: Methods for the International Nuclear Workers Study (INWORKS). Radiat Res. 2015 Jun;183(6):632-42.

Thierry-Chef I, Dabin J, Friberg EG, Hermen J, Istad TS, Jahnen A, Krille L, Lee C, Maccia C, Nordenskjöld A, Olerud HM, Rani K, Rehel JL, Simon SL, Struelens L, Kesminiene A. Assessing organ doses from paediatric CT scans--a novel approach for an epidemiology study (the EPI-CT study). Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2013 Feb 18;10(2):717-28.