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C.C. Lushbaugh

Dr. C.C. Lushbaugh, chief scientist at ORAU from 1963-1990.

During his 27-year career with ORAU, Dr. Clarence C. (C.C.) Lushbaugh’s research in human pathology and his leadership had a great impact not only on Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), but also the medical research community.

While many have left only studies and memories behind, Lushbaugh left a more concrete reminder of himself with ORAU. He and his wife, Dorothy, designed and created the beautiful stained-glass windows gracing the lobby of the Office Administration Building (shown below).

The elaborate quarter-circle windows each have a seven-foot radius and represent a total size of almost 80 square feet. Each medallion in the windows represents one of the 49 universities that were members of the ORAU consortium in 1990.

Lushbaugh was born in Covington, Ky., on March 15, 1916. He received a B.S. in anatomy in 1938, followed by a Ph.D. in pathology in 1942 from the University of Chicago. In 1948, he received an M.D. with honors in pathology, also from the University of Chicago.

From 1938-1963, some of the professional positions held by Lushbaugh included pathology fellow at the University of Chicago, pathologist at the University of Chicago Toxicity Laboratory on a U.S. Air Force Chemical Corps-National Research Council contract, and staff member in experimental pathology in the Biomedical Research Group of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

In 1963, Lushbaugh moved to East Tennessee, where he began a distinguished career in the Medical and Health Sciences Division (MHSD) of the Oak Ridge Institute for Nuclear Studies (ORINS) as chief scientist. Over the next 27 years that he worked for ORINS, which later became ORAU, Lushbaugh continued to take on increasing responsibilities.

Throughout his career at ORAU, Lushbaugh devoted himself almost exclusively to the problems associated with human radiation injury and radiation emergencies. Thus, appropriately, Lushbaugh was the first director of the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS), an internationally respected center known for its expertise in the medical management of radiation accidents.

He also served as acting director of the Center for Epidemiologic Research on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Health and Mortality Studies, which involved the majority of all DOE occupational exposures since 1942. In 1975, he became chairman of MHSD, a position he held until 1984, when he became chief of radiation medicine. He retired in 1990.

Lushbaugh’s studies focused on human pathology and have contributed greatly to the understanding of areas such as the pathology of lethal radiation syndromes, dose-response relationships, dose estimates, and the definition of “effective doses” for various clinically measured health indicators. His studies hold a common theme: All involved analyzing actual human experiences in order to protect humans from the harmful effects of radiation and the use of radiation for the treatment of disease.

Lushbaugh is internationally acclaimed for his contributions in radiation biology and radiation medicine. He has authored more than 150 scientific articles, book chapters, and books, mostly on chemical- and radiation-pathology and human radiation biology.

In 1984, he was honored with a Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award by the Health Physics Society. One year later, he was named the Landauer Award winner by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

Learn more at DOE’s Oral History of Pathologist Clarence Lushbaugh, M.D.