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Brooke Spelman, Public Affairs Officer, American Consulate General Osaka-Kobe, delighted by Hiroshima RERF visit, Marilyn Monroe photograph

Ms. Brooke Spelman (right) and Mr. Harutoshi Imai (left) in front of robotic freezer Ms. Spelman (second from left) encountering photograph of Marilyn Monroe

Ms. Brooke Spelman, Public Affairs Officer, American Consulate General Osaka-Kobe/Director, Kansai American Center, and Mr. Harutoshi Imai, Public Affairs Program Assistant, American Consulate General Osaka-Kobe, visited Hiroshima RERF's Laboratory on July 20, 2017.

Ms. Spelman and Mr. Imai were received in the Chairman’s office, where they were greeted by a group of RERF directors and managers. Dr. Ohtsura Niwa, Chairman, provided the guests with an overview of RERF. Ms. Spelman and Mr. Imai showed particular interest in the Nuclear Emergency Workers Study (NEWS), commissioned by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, which prompted Dr. Niwa to also give a report on the study’s progress.

On the facility tour that followed, Ms. Spelman and Mr. Imai learned about the history of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC), RERF’s predecessor organization, from the history panel display. They then toured the Department of Clinical Studies. There, they listened to an explanation about RERF’s various study cohorts and the Adult Health Study. Afterward, they surveyed RERF’s new robotic freezer and liquid nitrogen tanks used to preserve biological samples such as blood, urine, and lymphocytes donated by study participants. The idea of preserving biological samples seemed to pique Ms. Spelman’s interest, and while viewing the robotic freezer she queried how other organizations used similar large-scale freezers.

At the end of the tour, everyone stopped at a wall on the second floor displaying photographs of past RERF guests; Ms. Spelman was delighted to find a photograph of Marilyn Monroe among those of the other visitors.