Board and Staff

Asaf Durakovic

Medical Research Director

 

Dr. Asaf Durakovic, MD, PhD, DSc, FACP, is professor of Nuclear Medicine and Radiology and a specialist in all aspects of nuclear and radiation medicine. He has 35 years research and clinical experience on radioisotopes including strontium, uranium, and plutonium. His extensive experience includes research into nuclear disaster medicine in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. He has published over 75 scientific papers on the medical effects of radiation and radioactivity. Post-doctorate Fellowship, British Medical Council, Harwell, Oxfordshire, England Post-doctorate Fellowship, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. Dr Durakovic assisted with The Children of Chernobyl Project, Hadassah University, Jerusalem. Former Head of the Department of Nuclear Medicine, King Faisal International Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He has given over 250 international invited lectures. He served as the United States Medical Team Leader in the American-Soviet Joint Nuclear Verification Experiment in Soviet Central Asia. He presented his expert views before the Congress of the United States, European Parliament, and both houses of Parliament of Japan. Laureate of the International Peace Prize Jaipur, India, in 2004.

Dr. Durakovic originally described the Gulf War Syndrome in both military and civilian population of Iraq. UMRC field teams at his initiative were deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Balkans, and Gaza to study the effects of radioactive weapons in both civilian and military populations. Current sustained research is focused on both somatic and genetic effects of internal contamination of the human population and biosphere with organotropic radioactive isotopes with special emphasis on transuranic elements.


Tedd Weyman

Deputy Director

Field Investigations Team Lead

Tedd Weyman, BSW, MEd (HROD) is UMRC’s Deputy Director and Field Investigations Team Lead. Tedd organizes and leads UMRC ‘s field studies in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. He is also a consultant in CBRN and terrorism emergency management, integrated municipal emergency services, and rural-area community capacity building.

The accompanying photo shows Tedd collecting post-ballistic debris samples at a Taliban army depot bombed by Operation Enduring Freedom on the outskirts of Jalalabad. Since this photo was taken, this bombsite was confirmed by laboratory analysis to contain nondepleted Uranium at levels elevated 57 times normal.


Frank Klimaschewski

Research Consultant for Europe
Hamburg University, Germany
MSc Radiation Physics — University College London, UK
PhD Candidate – Hamburg University, Germany

Frank Klimaschewski graduated at Hamburg University, Germany, and studied Radiation Physics (MSc.) at University College London (UCL), UK. He is currently completing his doctorate studies on management teams in the context of organizational learning and emergency preparedness and conducting his field research in Europe. He is specializing in radiation emergency management concepts.


Marcelo Valdes

Sr. Research Consultant
MSc—High Energy Physics (University of Ottawa)

Marcelo Valdes is a physicist and computer scientist. His primary research is in the field of Health Physics concentrating on the Biokinetics of inhaled Uranium using Microdosimetry for very low levels of contamination and Forensic Analysis of samples contaminated with crustal plus technogenic Uranium.


David Elijah Bell

Research Consultant
Epidemiology and Public Health
BS — Vanderbilt University (2003)
MPH and MA — Case Western Reserve University (2006)
PhD — SUNY  Buffalo

David Elijah Bell is a medical anthropologist who specializes in international public health, environmental contamination, low-dose irradiation, and controversial epidemiology.  His ongoing research includes degree of attributable illness from depleted uranium exposure in Gulf War Syndrome, and the role of low-dose irradiation in experiences of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  He is interested in both genomic aberration and oxidative stress associated with formation of free radicals.  Sociocultural research examines the sociopolitics of contamination and the anxiety of uncertain or controversial illness, emphasizing that such anxiety will have both cultural and biological effects significant enough to alter the clinical expression of disease.  David’s public health background is in emergency preparedness and disaster relief.  He has been a volunteer researcher with UMRC since 2004.  He has worked with American Gulf War veterans and residents of industrial contamination sites in the Buffalo/Niagara, NY region.  His field research abroad has included multiple trips to Bosnia/Herzegovina, as well as experience with Afghan refugees in Pakistan and experience with Iraqi refugees in Syria.


Marissa Sonnis-Bell

Research Associate
Social Geography of the Radioactive Battlefield
BA Geography – King’s College London, University of London (2011)
MA Geography – SUNY University at Buffalo (2013)

Marissa Sonnis-Bell is a graduate student pursuing her Master’s degree in the Department of Geography at SUNY Buffalo, with a concentration in economic geography. Her Bachelor’s research focused on the political geography of regional identity in the Balkans. Marissa has been part of the UMRC research team since completing her Bachelor’s in 2011, where her work contributes to studies on the social geography of the radioactive battlefield. Her current Master’s thesis work emphasizes corporate, public and expert perceptions and responses to rapidly evolving issues of nuclear energy in the post-Fukushima world.


Jacob Zimmerman

Fiscal Coordinator
BDes – Ontario College of Art and Design (2004)

Jacob Zimmerman is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design with a degree in Environmental Design. He has also studied and maintains an interest in the field of Graphic Design. His professional experience includes architectural and graphic design, financial and organizational administration, and team management. Jacob was nominated as UMRC’s Treasurer in 2011. In addition to his duties on the Board, he also designs and produces much of the organization’s printed and electronic presentation material.


Adam Lieberman

International Liaison to Russia, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus
BA – SUNY Brockport
MA Candidate – Middlebury College, School of Russian Language

Adam Lieberman received his BA in international studies from the State University of New York College at Brockport. A portion of his undergraduate education was spent studying overseas in Russia at the Yaraslav University of Velikiy Novgorod. Adam is currently a master’s candidate at the Middlebury College School of Russian Language. He has studied Russian language, culture, and history for nearly a decade. His studies have been strongly affected by his volunteer efforts overseas throughout Russia. Adam currently represents the interests of the Uranium Medical Research Center throughout Russia and the Northern Caucasus. Recently he assisted in the organization of UMRC’s role in the 7th International Conference on Isotopes held at the World Trade Center in Moscow, Russia.


Alana Ross

Administrative Coordinator
Executive Secretary — Lakeview Medical Office, New York

Alana Ross manages and prioritizes activities of the Medical Research Director. She takes a lead role and closely collaborates with the Deputy Coordinator to execute all forms of communication within UMRC’s numerous departments and programs, under the guidance of the Director, and also provides consistent management of his primary contacts. In addition, Alana assists with various written communications. Keeping current with program activities, she prepares for UMRC’s meetings, coordinating research and communications between researchers and administrators.

Concurrently, Alana serves UMRC as Secretary of the Board and is responsible for all communications, correspondence, research papers, financial reports, and Committee and Board meeting work, including setting the agenda on behalf of the Director, taking notes, writing drafts, and distributing minutes.


Sharon Graham

Deputy Coordinator for Canada

Marlene Liden

International Coordinator for Communication and Information