For our next spotlight, we contacted Dr. Vanita Chauhan from Health Canada. Vanita works in the Ionizing Radiation Health Sciences Division of Health Canada and co-authored, “A Comprehensive Review of the Literature on the Biological Effects from Dental X-ray Exposures“, with Ruth Wilkins.
How and/or when did you get into this field of study
I was fortunate in receiving an “Office of Chief Scientist” scholarship through a Health Canada Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program. In 2006, this offered me the opportunity for a placement in the field of non-ionizing radiation. Since then I have migrated to ionizing radiation research and worked alongside some exceptional people that have supported my career development and growth.
Why is this article important?
This article reviews the literature on health effects from exposure to dental X-rays. It highlights that more mechanistic studies are needed and research efforts should be put forth to developing innovative approaches for interpolating dose-response data and the correlation to long-term health effects. This will be important for understanding risks from low dose radiation exposures.
Where do you see your field in the next 10 years?
Computer-based approaches are evolving quickly, in the next 10 years machine learning, artificial intelligence and biologically-based models will provide new avenues to explore science.
Is there any particular article you published that launched your career?
The article “Transcriptional benchmark dose modeling: Exploring how advances in chemical risk assessment may be applied to the radiation field” won an “editor’s choice” award and helped launch my career and provided avenues for funding through a Genomic Research and Development Initiative.
Chauhan V, Kuo B, McNamee JP, Wilkins RC, Yauk CL. Transcriptional benchmark dose modeling: Exploring how advances in chemical risk assessment may be applied to the radiation field. Environ Mol Mutagen. 2016 Oct;57(8):589-604. doi: 10.1002/em.22043. Epub 2016 Sep 7. PubMed PMID: 27601323.
Do you have any advice for Postdoctoral Researchers?
Effective communications skills are important in bringing visibility to your research. If possible become involved in committees early on, conduct collaborative research and network to broaden the scope of your work.
What is the one job you’d love doing if you weren’t in your current occupation?
• What’s the most unusual item you have in your office?
Hawaiian Hula Dancer
• Star Trek or Star Wars?
• Wine or Beer?
Chia Seed Kombucha
• Favourite food?