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Jacob I and Irene B. Fabrikant Chair in Health, Risk and Society

FabrikantJacobJACOB I FABRIKANT was a pioneer in environmental radiology. Dr. Fabrikant’s extensive research on radiation effects on cell kinetics led to his lifelong interest in low-level radiation effects in human populations. He was internationally known for using scientific evidence on radiation risks and health effects to protect the public’s health. He was a principal founder of the concept and the development of “radiosurgery,” the use of high-energy radiation generated by accelerators in the high precision treatment to eradicate hard-to-reach diseased tissues in the brain. A compassionate and caring physician, beloved by his patients, Dr. Fabrikant died in 1993.

After earning his medical degree from McGill University, Jacob Fabrikant trained in radiology at Hopkins. Following a PhD in biophysics from the University of London, he served on the faculties of both the Hopkins schools of Medicine and Public Health. He was named chair of radiology at the University of Connecticut and McGill University medical schools, later joining the faculty at the University of California at San Francisco and at Berkeley. A fellow of the American College of Radiology and a member of the Royal Society of Medicine of Great Britain, Dr. Fabrikant published extensively and served on national and international committees focusing on the biological and health effects of low-level radiation. He was appointed director of public health and safety on President Carter’s Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island.


FabrikantIreneHis wife, IRENE B. FABRIKANT (1933-2011), a distinguished teacher and researcher, held a PhD in microbiology and immunology and studied biostatistics at Hopkins. Her work on the pathogenesis and prevention of human infectious diseases centered on vector-borne diseases. She was the first to discover the resurgence of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease, in Mexico. She served on the medical school faculties of the universities of Maryland and Connecticut and McGill. The recipient of many honors and awards, Irene Fabrikant was a consultant in environmental health sciences.

The Fabrikant Chair supports continuing research on health risks related to radiation.