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ORAU History - 1950

Construction on ORINS’ 30-bed Cancer Research Hospital, which was a remodeled one-story wing of the Oak Ridge Hospital and a new two-story wing, was completed in 1950. The first patient, a woman with extensive thyroid cancer, was admitted in 1950.

In 1950, the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies (ORINS) began administration of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)-sponsored predoctoral fellowship program for the Southeast and Southwest part of the United States. Thirty-nine fellows in the region applied that first year, and 10 were awarded fellowships.

Also in 1950, ORINS assumed responsibility for administering the AEC’s Radiological Physics Fellowship Program, which was established at Vanderbilt University and the University of Rochester. That first year, 225 students applied, and 20 fellowships were awarded to each university.

Today, the organization continues to administer more than 100 education programs for more than 14 different Federal agencies.

In 1950, the Medical Division and the M.D. Anderson Hospital for Cancer Research in Texas began working together to design and build a radiocobalt teletherapy unit. It was believed that the use of cobalt-60 for supervoltage irradiation would be a most valuable therapeutic instrument.

An animal colony and experimental laboratory were completed in cooperation with the University of Tennessee-AEC Agricultural Research Program in 1950.

Dr. Elizabeth Rona joined the staff of the Special Training Division (now known as Radiation Sciences Training) in 1950. Fluent in a number of languages and very experienced in working with radioactivity, Dr. Rona was a valuable member of the division’s teaching staff. She also brought to the division her research into the geochronology of marine sediments based on determinations of uranium and thorium in seawater.