June 6, 2013
Honorary degree recipients are recognized for their contributions in such areas as public service, education and scholarship, creative and performing arts, and for their work within the McMaster community.
Calabrese learned of the honor in January via email. “It was quite a shock. It is usually an honor given to a very public figure such as an elected politician or other leader in society. I consider myself simply a quiet academic, never thinking about the possibility of ever being selected for such an honor,” he says.
“I believe that the selection recognized my leadership and publication record in the area of enhancing understanding of the nature of the dose response in the low dose zone for chemicals, pharmaceuticals, as well as ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. Our work has revealed that low doses of toxic substances can induce adaptive responses and that these adaptive responses have very significant clinical and public health implications,” notes Calabrese.
He adds, “The knowledge of such processes and their underlying mechanisms are now being extensively studied by others and are in the process of transforming both drug discovery and development, how clinical trials could be improved, and how environmental exposure regulations can be formulated such as to maximize public health. It is very rewarding to realize that people and society can be helped by our research here at the University of Massachusetts.”
“The international scientific community owes a debt to Professor Calabrese for his pioneering work in the field of low dose effects,” says McMaster’s Associate Vice-President Research, Fiona McNeill. “Without his rigour and determination, often in the face of skepticism and doubt from others, valuable knowledge would have taken much longer to come to light. His work is helping transform many of the current paradigms of risk, especially in the field of radiation exposure. At McMaster University, we have research teams performing research on low dose radiation effects. We have been strongly inspired by his example, and are grateful that we have this opportunity to acknowledge his contributions to science.”