Nun an eminent cancer researcher

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Sr Rosalie Bertell, GNSH, PhD 

4 April 1929 – June 14, 2012

Sister Rosalie Bertell, GNSH, PhD, an internationally recognized environmental epidemiologist, cancer researcher and public health advocate, died 14 June, 2012, at age 83 in Saint Mary Medical Centre, Langhorne, PA, in the 54th year of her religious life. She was the daughter of the late Paul G Bertell and Helen Twohey Bertell of Buffalo, NY.

Dr Bertell entered the field of cancer research at Roswell Park Memorial Institute, Buffalo in the 1970s. What started there grew into a lifetime devoted to research, writing, public speaking and advocacy work on the effects of low-level radiation on human health.

Prior to founding the International Institute of Concern for Public Health in Toronto, Canada in 1984, she was an Energy/Public Health specialist at the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice in Toronto for four years.

Sister travelled the globe, researching and advising ways of dealing with the chemical and nuclear hazards which endanger the environment and erode the health of people worldwide until shortly before her death.

Sister Rosalie authored two books, No Immediate Danger (1985) and Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War (2000) and more than a hundred articles.

She was named to the Global 500 Roll of Honour 1993 (United Nations Environment Programme) and was the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, December, 1986. Among other accolades, Sister received numerous honorary doctorates in recognition of her scholarly and professional work and her efforts as a social justice advocate...

She attended St Mary Academy, Kenmore, NY, received her diploma from Mt St Joseph Academy, Buffalo and earned her BA in Math/Physics/Education from D'Youville College. She entered the Carmelite Community in Buffalo in 1951, but her health prevented her from continuing beyond 1956.

Before entering the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart in 1958, she served on the faculty of Catholic University, Washington, DC for a year. From Catholic University, she received a Masters in Mathematics/Philosophy and a Doctorate in Mathematics/Biology/Biometrics.

Full obituary on http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=20609

What is an environmental epidemiologist?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_epidemiology

Wikipedia on Sr Rosalie: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosalie_Bertell

Sr Rosalie Bertell on health issues, http://iicph.org/news_0801-bertell-public-health

 

 

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