Our Team - Title

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 health effects 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 also coordinated 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.

She has been elected as a member of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) to contribute, within committee 3, to publish guidelines and recommendations on medical use of ionizing radiation.

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 and medical workers. Cohorts of workers exposed to radiation 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

  • Hauptmann M, Byrnes G, Cardis E, Bernier MO, Blettner M, Dabin J, et al. Brain cancer after radiation exposure from CT examinations of children and young adults: results from the EPI-CT cohort study. Lancet Oncol. 2023 Jan;24(1):45-53.
  • Thierry-Chef I, Cardis E, Damilakis J, Frija G, Hierath M, Hoeschen C. Medical applications of ionizing radiation and radiation protection for European patients, population and environment. EPJ Nuclear Sci. Technol. 8, 44 (2022)
  • De Saint-Hubert M, Verbeek N, Bäumer C, Esser J, Wulff J, Nabha R, et al. Validation of a Monte Carlo Framework for Out-of-Field Dose Calculations in Proton Therapy. Front Oncol. 2022;12:882489
  • Thierry-Chef I, Ferro G, Le Cornet L, Dabin J, Istad TS, Jahnen A et al. Dose estimation for the European Epidemiological Study on Pediatric Computed Tomography (EPI-CT). Radiat Res. 2021 Jul 1;196(1):74-99. doi: 10.1667/RADE-20-00231.1.PMID: 33914893
  • Leuraud K, Richardson DB, Cardis E, Daniels RD, Gillies M, Haylock R, Moissonnier M, Schubauer-Berigan MK, Thierry-Chef I, Kesminiene A, Laurier D Risk of cancer associated with low-dose radiation exposure: comparison of results between the INWORKS nuclear workers study and the A-bomb survivors study. Radiat Environ Biophys. 2021 Mar;60(1):23-39.
  • Harbron RW, Thierry-Chef I, Pearce MS, Bernier MO, Dreuil S, Rage E, et al. The HARMONIC project: Study design for assessment of cancer risks following cardiac fluoroscopy in childhood. J. Radiol. Prot. 2020;40:1074-90.
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