High award for GSI scientist: Marco Durante receives the Failla Award of the Radiation Research Society


Marco Durante, head of the GSI Biophysics Research Department and professor at the TU Darmstadt, has been awarded the prestigious Failla Award 2020 by the Radiation Research Society (RRS). Professor Durante has been invited to give a lecture on his scientific career at the virtual annual RRS meeting in October this year. The award has been announced at the end of June.

Marco Durante is an internationally recognized expert in the field of radiation biology and medical physics. He is being awarded the prize for his significant contributions to the optimization of therapy with heavy ions and for his studies on radiation protection in space. "This award is a great honour for me. As a student, I read the Failla Award paper by Cornelius Tobias (Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory), the father of heavy ion therapy, on heavy ions in therapy and space research, and I became enthusiastic about that topic. After 37 years from Tobias, spending my whole scientific career on that very topic, that same award comes to me. The award actually recognizes the research of my team at GSI/FAIR over the past years. It is the result of the work of the whole Biophysics Department", Professor Durante reacted to the news from RRS. "The prize is an enormous incentive for us to continue our research at GSI and in the future at the FAIR facility, with the Biophysics Collaboration, at the highest level.“

Professor Paolo Giubellino, scientific director of GSI and FAIR, is delighted about the award: "­I am extremely pleased that the outstanding research achievements of Marco Durante and his team have received the recognition they deserve with the Failla award, the most important worldwide in this field. The work of Marco Durante and his team is a prime example of how basic research and applications can come together at an interdisciplinary research center and underlines the excellence of scientific research at GSI and FAIR". 

The prestigious award is named after the scientist Gioacchino Failla, former president of RRS and one of its founding fathers. It is awarded annually to an outstanding member of the radiation research community who has made significant contributions in the fields of radiation science. The handover of the prize money of $2000 and an accompanying medal usually takes place during the annual meeting of the RRS. It is the highest award of RRS, established in 1963 and has been received only by a few Europeans, including a single researcher working in Germany (Herwig Paretzke in 2007). Due to the corona pandemic, the RRS is organising its annual meeting virtually this year, so that the prize is delivered in advance. During the online event in October 2020 Durante will deliver his Failla lecture.

Marco Durante is head of the GSI Biophysics Research Department and professor at the TU Darmstadt Department of Physics, Institute of Condensed Matter of Physics. He studied physics and got his PhD at the University Federico II in Italy. His post doc positions took him to the NASA Johnson Space Center in Texas and to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Japan. During his studies, he specialized in charged particle therapy, cosmic radiation, radiation cytogenetics and radiation biophysics. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the Galileo Galilei prize from the European Federation of Organizations for Medical Physics (EFOMP), the Timoffeeff-Ressovsky award of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), the Warren Sinclair award of the US National Council of Radiation Protection (NCRP), the IBA-­Europhysics Prize of the European Physical Society (EPS) and the Bacq & Alexander award of the European Radiation Research Society (ERRS). He has recently been awarded an ERC advanced grant. (JL)

More information:

Web-Site ot the Radiation Research Society