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An outstanding scientist, Head of the Biophysics Lab Marina Degteva passed away

Marina Olegovna Degteva, Head of Biophysics Laboratory of the Urals Research Center for Radiation Medicine of FMBA of Russia, passed away on September 8, 2022 at the age of 71 after a long illness.

Marina Olegovna began her career in 1976, immediately after graduating from the Faculty of Physics of Lomonosov Moscow State University, in Branch № 4 of the Institute of Biophysics of the Ministry of Health of the USSR (now URCRM of FMBA of Russia). Marina Olegovna worked her way from an engineer-physicist to the Head of the Biophysics Laboratory, which she headed since 1991. In 1990, Marina Degteva received a PhD in Technical Sciences.

The main lines of scientific expertise of M.O. Degteva were dose reconstruction to assess the long-term effects of radiation exposure, as well as the problems of radiation protection of the population. Marina gained much practical experience working in these directions both in the Ural region and in the Republic of Belarus on the territories contaminated as a result of the Chernobyl accident.
Good professional background, wide erudition and interest in work provided the fruitfulness of Marina Olegovna's researches. The list of her scientific publications in Russian and foreign literature numbers more than 360 titles. Marina Olegovna was a member of a group of authors of 4 monographs dedicated to the consequences of radiation accidents, as well as a number of methodological recommendations for reconstruction of doses in the population.

Under the guidance of M.O. Degteva a number of scientific studies commissioned by the Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA of Russia) were performed as well as surveys on international scientific issues within the framework of the Russian-American Joint Coordinating Committee for Radiation Effects Research (JCCRER) and European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).

2013 - 2017 Marina Degteva was a member of Committee 2 of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). 

Under her keen guidance, she brought up young scientists who continue her work. Under her guidance, a number of Ph.D. theses were successfully defended.

Marina Olegovna Degteva was awarded with a Certificate of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation for longstanding conscientious work (2007), Badge of Honor of Health Physics Society, USA (2010), Anniversary Medal of the State Corporation for Atomic Energy "Rosatom" "75 Years of the Russian Nuclear Industry" for many years of hard work, significant success in the profession, great personal contribution of employees of medical institutions of FMBA of Russia in the organization and maintenance of health and on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the nuclear industry (2021).

Marina Olegovna Degteva will forever remain in the hearts of those who knew her and worked with her.

The URCRM staff deeply grieves for the grievous loss and expresses sincere condolences to the family and friends.

In memory of Marina Degteva from her colleagues

Dr .Buce Napier (co-PI of a joint research project with the U.S. Department of Energy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory , USA): "We are saddened to hear this. It is too bad we could not meet these past couple of years. We have lost our strongest leader and best scientist. Please pass our sympathy to Marina’s family."

Dr. Clemens Woda (Helmholtz Zentrum München Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH); Institute of radiation protection): "I am so sorry to hear this. The collaboration with Marina accompanied almost my entire time here at GSF/HMGU. I will miss her sharp mind, her enthusiasm and supportive spirit. I will keep her in good memory.
My condolences to the Biophysics Lab team, her family and friends."

Dr. Daniel Stram (Division of Biostatistics, University of Southern California): "I’m very saddened by this news. My heart goes out to her family".

Dr. D.L. Preston (Hirosoft International Corporation, Eureka, USA): "This is more sad news in a year of too much sadness. Marina meant so much to me and so many others as a colleague and a special friend. Without our nicotine-stained chat in my office at RERF in 1989, I almost certainly would not have become involved with my colleagues and friends at URCRM (and SUBI).
Please give my condolences to her family and friends. Marina was a most special and amazing person".

Dr. Yeter Goksu (Ankara University, Turkey): "I am very very sorry to hear about Marina. She was a great scientist, extremely kind and humble person, please forward my condolence to all her friends an family".

Michael Smith (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA): "My deepest condolences to you, the entire URCRM team and Marina's family, friends and colleagues".

Paola Fattibene (Italian National Institute of Health, Italy): "It's hard to believe. I can't find the words to ease your pain and express my own. I tried to find pictures of Marina on my computer and found that among the many pictures of the period we worked together, I didn't have any of Marina. I remember that she didn't like to be photographed. And at the time it didn't seem to matter. After all, we would meet again".

Dr. Raymond A. Guilmette (Ray Guilmette & Associates LLC, Senior Scientist Emeritus, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute): "It is always sad to learn of the passing of one of our friends and scientific colleagues. I have always had high regard for the quality of her dosimetry investigations, and will miss her works".

Dr. Dominique Laurier (Head of department, Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, France): "I first met Marina in 1996. I have very good memories of our collaboration, with very instructive and enriching discussions. It was a pleasure to work with her ... my condolences to her family and colleagues".

Dr. Joachim Schüz (PhD, Head, Environment and Lifestyle Epidemiology Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, France): "I’m saddened by the loss of Marina – I was always impressed by her skills and she was such a friendly person to work with". 

Dr. John Harrison (Director of the Public Health England (PHE), Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards): "I enjoyed working with Marina and her team at URCRM over many years and through a number of EU projects, and of course during her time on Committee 2. She was always a pleasure to work with, to learn from about the complexities of Techa River dosimetry, and to talk to about many things including the earlier days in the South Urals. I will pass on the news to those at UKHSA who worked with her".