DOE Shield DOE Openness: Human Radiation Experiments: Roadmap to the Project
Oral Histories
Roadmap to the Project
HomeRoadmapWhat's NewMultimediaRelated SitesFeedback
Oral Histories

Oral History of Radiologist Henry I. Kohn, M.D., Ph.D.


Short Biography

Studying the Effects of X Rays on Animal Blood Chemistry at Oak Ridge

Work at UCSF's Radiological Laboratory

Advantages of Yeast Cells for Studying Radiation Effects

Reflections on Bert Low-Beer and Joseph Hamilton

Radiation Genetics Experiments on Mice

Reflections on Reynold Brown and Henry Kaplan

Establishment of Harvard's Joint Center for Radiation Therapy (Mid '60s)

Radiological Assessment for the National Academy of Science Survey of Nuclear and Alternative Energy (1975–79)

Biologist and Physicist Perspectives on Radiological Effects

State of Knowledge in Radiation Epidemiology

Radiation Therapy

Recollections of Shields Warren

Research Into the Effects of Radiation Therapy on Blood Count

Time With the U.S. Public Health Service (Early '50s)

Chairing the Bikini Atoll Rehabilitation Committee

Curriculum Vitae

1 A copy of Dr. Kohn's curriculum vitae can be found at the end of the interview.

2 a small, cramped attic

3 a machine that accelerates charged particles to very high speed by combined application of a low-frequency magnetic field and a high-frequency electric field

4 million electron-volts

5 relative biological effectiveness—ratio of the damaged caused by that radiation (i.e., the synchrotron) to the damage of the same absorbed dose of reference radiation, usually cobalt-60 gamma-rays

6 Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, Tennessee)

7 Brookhaven National Laboratory (Upton, New York)

8 Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne, Illinois)

9 practitioners of biophysics, the branch of biology that applies the methods of physics to the study of biological structures and processes

10 having only one complete set of chromosomes, as opposed to two (diploid)

11 having double the basic number of chromosomes (as possessed by haploid organisms)

12 in advance of the interview

13 Dr. Hamilton, an M.D., worked at Crocker Laboratory, then the site of a 60-inch cyclotron. Crocker was a part of Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, later renamed Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Hamilton, who died of leukemia, is discussed in several transcripts of this series, notably in the John Gofman interview (DOE/EH-0457).

14 the condition of being similar antigenic types such that cells or tissues transplanted from a donor to a recipient are not rejected

15 sites

16 National Research Council. The Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems (series). Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences (1978).

17 Jagger, John. The Nuclear Lion: What Every Citizen Should Know About Nuclear Power and Nuclear War. New York: Plenum Press (1991).

18 For the transcript of the interview with Tobias, see DOE/EH-0480, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Biophysicist Cornelius A. Tobias, Ph.D. (July 1995).

19 the branch of medicine dealing with the incidence and prevalence of disease in large populations and with detection of the source and cause of epidemics; also: the factors contributing to the presence of absence of a disease

20 The rivalry between these two branches of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory is discussed by Dr. John Gofman in the transcript of his interview (DOE/EH-0457, May 1995).

21 the process by which plants convert carbon dioxide, water, and inorganic salts into complex organic materials, especially carbohydrates, using sunlight as the source of energy and with the aid of chlorophyll and associated pigments

22 separated or divided into component parts

23 medical specialists who study the nature, function, and diseases of the blood and of blood-forming organs

24 white blood cells