Guide to the Melvin R. Sikov Papers circa 1961-1995
Cage 874

Summary Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Sikov, Melvin R., 1928-
Melvin R. Sikov Papers
Cage 874
Date [inclusive]
circa 1961-1995
2.0 boxes
General Physical Description note
1.5 linear feet of shelf space
This collection contains the papers of Melvin R. "Mel" Sikov while he worked at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (operated by Battelle) and served as an adjunct professor at Washington State University-Tri-Cities. Included are research notes, publication drafts, copies of publications authored by Sikov, and visual materials from presentations.

Preferred Citation note

[Item Description] Melvin R. Sikov Papers, circa 1961-1995

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

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Biographical/Historical note

Melvin R. "Mel" Sikov (1928-2005) was a pioneer in radiation protection, particularly for understanding how radiation affects embryos and fetuses. Sikov was born and graduated from high school in Detroit, Michigan. After two years in the U.S. Army, he earned a B.S. in Biology and Physics from Wayne State University. He was then awarded a fellowship and spent two years studying radiological physics at the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies under Elda Anderson, from 1951 to 1952. He married fellow Wayne State University alumna, Shirley Dressler, in 1952. Dressler worked at the Department of Statistics in the Atomic Energy Project.

He went on to a Ph.D. program at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and earned a doctorate in radiation biology, only the second such degree granted in the world, in 1955. Sikov's mentor, Dr. Thomas Noonan, introduced Sikov to the field of radiation effects on the female reproductive system.

After completing his Ph.D., Sikov returned to Detroit as assistant professor of radiobiology at Wayne State University. In 1965, he moved to Washington to work at Battelle's Pacific Northwest Laboratory at Hanford, in the Biology Department. Sikov moved up through several positions, reaching the highest scientific rank. He held adjunct positions at Oregon State University and the Joint Center for Graduate Studies, which became part of Washington State University Tri-Cities. Upon retirement in 1995, he was named Scientist Emeritus in the Molecular Biosciences Department.

While pursuing studies on radionuclides, he collaborated with other scientists in some of the first research to apply ultrasound imaging to embryonic tissues. Sikov's work on the prenatal effects of ultrasound helped to establish the safety of this clinical technique. With other scientists he examined the potential prenatal and postnatal effects of metals and slow-release system contraceptives used in intrauterine devices for birth control.

He was generous in sharing his expertise with others, but he remained focused on the developmental effects of radionuclides and improving radiation protection for members of the public. He was a charter member of the Health Physics Society (HPS), which honored him with Fellow membership. The Columbia Chapter of the HPS also honored him with Lifetime membership. He was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Ultrasound. He was a member of the American Society for Investigative Pathology, Radiation Research Society, Society of Toxicology, and Teratology Society. He was actively involved in outreach and public educational efforts of regional professional organizations.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of professional papers of research scientist Melvin Sikov. It includes correspondence, research notes, publication drafts, copies of publications authored by Sikov, collected material, and visual material from presentations.

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Arrangement note

This collection is arranged in four series:

Series 1: Research. This series contains Sikov's collected research on how various metals and elements impact the reproductive systems of lab animals.

Series 2: Publication correspondence and drafts. This series contains correspondence, drafts, and specific research materials for publications.

Series 3: Publications. This series contains copies of articles and publications authored, in whole or in part, by Sikov.

Series 4: Visual and miscellaneous materials. This series contains photographs and other visual material pertaining to presentations and lectures given by Sikov, including overhead transparencies, Kodachrome slides, and film negatives, and one miscellaneous file related to Sikov's adjunct faculty appointment at WSU.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 2017
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open and available for research use.

Conditions Governing Use note

Copyright restrictions apply.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Ronald Kathren donated this collection to the Washington State University Libraries in 2008 (MS.2008.02).

Processing Information note

This collection was processed by Megan Ockerman in June of 2017.

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Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Sikov, Melvin R., 1928- -- Archives--Archives


  • Radiation -- Health aspects -- Research
  • Science
  • Scientists -- Archives

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: Research circa 1961-1995 

Box Folder

Baboon counting sheets 

1 1-3

Tumors: theoretical and philosophical 

1 4

P-26 (Phosphorus) reading 

1 5

P-26 (Phosphorus) 

1 6

P-61 (Phosphorus) literature review 

1 7

P-61 (Phosphorus) tables 

1 8

P-61 (Phosphorus) mobilization cross-placental analysis 

1 9

Pregnancy and lactation paper 

1 10

Plutonium injection in rats 

1 11

P-27 (Phosphorus) 

1 12

P-20/ES 1 and 2 (Phosphorus and Einsteinium) 

1 13

Distribution effect of Pu (Plutonium) 

1 14

MRS 3700-3720 

1 15

86 Rn (Radon) 

1 16

36 Kr (Krypton) 

1 17

P-9 and P-10 data (Phosphorus) 

1 18

Pb and Fe (Lead and Iron) 

1 19-22

82 Pb (Lead) 

1 23-26

Early embryology and radiation resources 

1 27

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Series 2: Publication correspondence and drafts circa 1961-1995 

Box Folder

Carcinogenity of Iodine draft 

1 28

Hematology material 

1 29-31

Teratology Society draft material 

1 32

Plutonium on rat fetus drafts 

1 33-34

P-20 (Phosphorus) material 

1 35-37

Prenatally administered Pu (Plutonium) draft 

1 38

Perinatally administered Pu (Plutonium) draft 

1 39-40

Prenatal dosimetry material 

1 41-42

P-26 (Phosphorus) material 

1 43

Lung retention material 

1 44

Radiation dose to embryo draft 

1 45

Government drafts 

1 46

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Series 3: Publications circa 1961-1995 

Box Folder

Miscellaneous articles 

1 47-50

Miscellaneous articles 

2 51-52

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Series 4: Visual and miscellaneous materials circa 1961-1995 

Box Folder

Photocopies and negatives 

2 53


2 54

Presentation transparencies 

2 55-57

Lung distribution presentation 

2 58-59

Presentation slides 

2 60-62

Intravenous injection slides and transparencies 

2 63

WSU Adjunct appointment handbook 

2 64


2 65

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