Established in 2000 by Irene B. Fabrikant in memory of her husband

JACOB 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.


His wife, IRENE B. FABRIKANT, 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.


THOMAS A. BURKE, the Jacob I and Irene B. Fabrikant Professor of Health, Risk and Society, is the associate dean for public health practice and training at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management and holds joint appointments in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and the School of Medicine Department of Oncology. He is also director of the Johns Hopkins Risk Sciences and Public Policy Institute. Dr. Burke was chair of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Improving Risk Analysis and in 2006 he was named a fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis. His research interests include environmental epidemiology and surveillance, evaluation of population exposures to environmental pollutants, assessment and communication of environmental risks, and application of epidemiology and health risk assessment to public policy. He was principal investigator for the Pew Environmental Health Commission which established the framework for a national approach to environmental public health tracking. He has been awarded the Johns Hopkins Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching four times.

Before joining the university faculty, Dr. Burke was deputy commissioner of health for the State of New Jersey and director of science and research for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. In New Jersey, he directed initiatives that influenced the development of national programs, such as Superfund, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Toxics Release Inventory.

Dr. Burke is a member of the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board, has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, and chaired the NAS Committee on Human Biomonitoring for Environmental Toxicants and Committee on Toxicants and Pathogens in Biosolids Applied to Land. He also served on the NAS Committee on the Toxicological Effects of Methylmercury. In 2003 he was named a lifetime National Associate of the National Academies. He was inaugural chair of the advisory committee to the director of the CDC National Center for Environmental Health and a member of the executive committee of the EPA Board of Scientific Counselors.

Dr. Burke received his BS from St. Peter's College, his MPH from the University of Texas, and his PhD in epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania.