TU-CD-303-00: In Memoriam of Warren Sinclair: Physics Applications for New Radiobiology



The Medical Physics and Radiation Protection communities lost one of their true pioneers in May, 2014 with the passing of Warren K. Sinclair, Ph.D. He received his Doctorate in Physics at the University of London, U.K. He was a fellow of the Institute of Physics and a Certified Health Physicist. After a number of posts at Hospitals and Universities in the U.K. and New Zealand, he became the Head, Physics Department at the M.D. Anderson Hospital, Houston, TX. He held a number of academic physics positions with the University of Texas, Austin at the main campus and at the Postgraduate School of Medicine, Houston. He later served as a Senior Biophysicist, Division Director, and then Associate Laboratory Director for Biomedical Division Director, and then Associate Laboratory Director for Biomedical and Environmental Research at the Argonne National Laboratory, IL. He had additional academic appointments at the University of California, Berkeley; Northern Illinois University; the University of Illinois (Chicago Circle Campus); and the University of Chicago.

Warren was a charter member of the AAPM and a leader in many communities: President of the AAPM from 1960 to 1961 and the Journal Editor from 1964 to 1969, the 2nd President of the NCRP from 1977 to 1991, and the President of the Radiation Research Society from 1978 to 1979. His many awards included the William D. Coolidge Award in 1986. Even this barely scratches the surface of the many other organizations he served with and influenced including the ICRP, IOP, RSNA, SNM, and UNSCEAR. His research interests resulted in publications from 1948 to the 1990s in many aspects (physical and biological) of radiotherapy and the effects of ionizing radiation in general, leading to early definitions of RBE values for megavoltage radiotherapy as well as contributing to the development of the modern framework for radiation protection worldwide.

Warren was not a retiring person and even after moving to NCRP President Emeritus status continued to provide advice and comments on publications and to mentor others until the time of his passing. Sadly, Warren's long-time wife Joy passed away in December, 2014 but he is survived by his son Bruce and daughter Roslyn, 2 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.