2017 Outstanding Career Achievement: Christopher Thome

Christopher Thome, Ph.D.,  After receiving a bachelor of medical sciences degree from the University of Western Ontario, Dr. Thome went on to study at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario where he received a master’s degree in health and radiation physics and a PhD in medical physics, under the supervision of Dr. Douglas Boreham. Currently, Dr. Thome is working at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Sudbury, Ontario, affiliated with Laurentian University. He is a member of the International Dose Response Society and the Radiation Research society.


Dr. Thome’s research interests are in low-dose radiobiology, focused mainly on investigating the effects of sub-natural background radiation exposure. He is working to establish a biological research program within SNOLAB (Sudbury Neutrino Observatory), a deep underground laboratory located in Sudbury, Ontario. SNOLAB is a Nobel Prize winning facility that was designed for astroparticle physics research into neutrinos and dark matter. The laboratory is located 6,800 feet underground in an active mine. The overburden of rock reduces cosmic radiation by a factor of 50 million, making it an ideal location to study the biological effects of sub-background exposure. Using a combination of whole organism and cell culture model systems, Dr. Thome is investigating the hypothesis that natural background radiation is essential for life and that prolonged exposure to a sub-background environment could be detrimental to living systems. In addition to this work, he is also involved in initiating a clinical trial investigating the use of low-dose half body irradiation as a cancer therapeutic.