PAC 8: Nonionizing Radiation


The primary functions of the PAC are to analyze mechanisms of interaction of nonionizing radiation with biological systems, including humans, and to identify biological responses and potential human health effects. Evaluations are made of both theoretical and applied aspects of dosimetry and exposure assessment of humans to nonionizing radiation, as well as procedures for mitigating exposure in public and occupational settings. Recommendations are also established on acceptable exposure levels for nonionizing radiation in occupational, medical and public environments.



David A. Savitz

SavitzDis Professor of Epidemiology in the Brown University School of Public Health, with a joint appointment in Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Alpert Medical School. His epidemiological research has addressed a wide range of many important public health issues including environmental hazards in the workplace and community, reproductive health outcomes, and environmental influences on cancer. He has done extensive work on health effects of nonionizing radiation, pesticides, drinking water treatment byproducts, and perfluorinated compounds.

He has directed 30 doctoral dissertations and 15 master’s theses. He is the author of over 400 papers in professional journals and editor or author of three books. He has served as editor at the American Journal of Epidemiology and as a member of the Epidemiology and Disease Control-1 study section of the National Institutes of Health and currently is an editor at Epidemiology. He was President of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research and North American Regional Councilor for the International Epidemiological Association. Dr. Savitz is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine.

He came to Brown in 2010 from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he had served as the Charles W. Bluhdorn Professor of Community and Preventive Medicine and Director of Disease Prevention and Public Health Institute since 2006. Earlier, he taught and conducted research at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health and at the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Savitz received his undergraduate training in Psychology at Brandeis University, a Master’s degree in Preventive Medicine at Ohio State University in 1978, and the PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in 1982.

David A. Savitz , Chairman

Michael D. O’Hara

has served as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) representative on the Advisory Committee on the Medical Uses of Isotopes since November 2014. Dr. O'Hara earned his BA in biology from D'Youville College in Buffalo, an MS in Natural Sciences from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a PhD in Biological Sciences from Wayne State University in Detroit. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Experimental Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He remained as a faculty member at Thomas Jefferson University Medical College in the Department of Radiation Oncology. He lead research efforts investigating the impact of chemical agents that modify the thermal response of normal and malignant tissues during thermal/radiotherapy and investigated bone marrow transplantation as a method to treat osteogenesis imperfecta. Dr. O'Hara regularly taught an undergraduate course in "Health Physics and Radiation Biology," lectured medical residents, and was a member of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Dr. O'Hara moved to Cordis [a Johnson and Johnson (J&J) company] to manage the firm's radiation therapy efforts involving radioactive endovascular stents and catheter-based radiation sources. He was promoted to a J&J Research Fellow and continued to assist Cordis and other J&J companies with radiation-based therapies. Dr. O'Hara joined FDA in 2004 in the Division of Biology in the Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories within the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). His activities included research studies involving relative biological effectiveness of ionizing radiation and the radiofrequency (thermal) / radiotherapeutic response of human tumor cells. He also served as the chairman of the Animal Care and Use Committee and has served as a member of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) Radiology Standards Committee, the CDRH Radiofrequency Working Group, the Interagency Radiofrequency Working group and the Health and Human Services Radiation Biodosimetry Working Group. Dr. O'Hara served the Office of Device Evaluation and the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics as an Acting Branch Chief and later an Acting Deputy Division Director. He currently serves the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological health as one of the Deputy Division Directors of the Division of Radiological Health. This division is responsible for the pre-market evaluation, post-market medical device reporting and compliance for all radiation emitting medical devices.

Michael D. O'Hara
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is a Professor in the Department of Radiology, University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. After completing her PhD in Southern India, she received a post doctoral fellowship from the World Health Organization for advanced training in cytogenetics in Great Britain. She accepted the position of a senior scientist in British Medical Research Council's Human Genetics Unit in Scotland and continued to work there for 10 y. During this time, she was invited as guest scientist in the Department of Radiation Genetics and Chemical Mutagenesis in Netherlands and in the Department of Human Genetics in the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Then she moved to Switzerland to work in the Swiss Federal Radiation Research Institute for 2 y. She relocated to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York for 2 y. Since 1993, she is in San Antonio focusing her research on the biological/genetic effects in animal and human cells exposed to nonionizing radiation radiofrequency fields.

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Last modified: February 3, 2022