Dear Colleagues and Friends,

It is our great pleasure to invite you to participate in the 5th International Symposium on Space Radiation and Particle Radiotherapy, including the 8th International Workshop on Space Research Radiation (IWSRR) and the 17th Ion Beams in Biology and Medicine (IBIBAM), which will be held in Suzhou, China, on May 24-26, 2017. The joint symposium will follow the important tradition of previous meetings held in Cologne (Germany), Chiba (Japan), and Osaka (Japan) since 2009.

In the past two years, exciting discoveries and events in space research have been made, including evidence of recent flowing water on Mars shown by the NASA's Mars Reconnaissance orbiter (MRO) and the deeper insight in the formation on comets and the detection of organic compounds made by the Rosetta spacecraft. These surprising discoveries support the potential presence of life and further stimulate humanity's interest in space exploration, in response to which China has announced its plan to build a space station to be completed by 2020, and NASA and other space agencies are planning more missions to Mars. Exposure to space radiation, in particular to the heavy particle component of the Galactic Cosmic Rays, is a major concern for human health during long duration space travel. On the other hand, heavy particles have been found beneficial on Earth, while increasingly used in cancer radiotherapy. In China alone, about ten contracts for the construction of new particle therapy facilities were signed last year and more are being planned. With this as a backdrop, we invite you to Suzhou to share your recent findings and thoughts on improving the efficacy and safety of particle radiotherapy and advancing research in the assessment and mitigation of the risks from space radiation.

Suzhou, founded in 514 BC, is one of the most beautiful cities in China. This ancient town was called the Venice of the East by early travelers because of the more than 40 towns and 300 crisscrossing bridges built around a network of canals, including the Grand Canal. Suzhou is known for its beautiful gardens, including the Humble Administrator Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its silk embroidery. Suzhou is also famous for the Leaning tower, Suzhou Opera, Taihu pearl, the Biluochun green tea and its many sumptuous regional cuisines. We are confident that your stay in Suzhou will be a memorable one.

On behalf of the organizing and Program Committees, we cordially invite you to join us in Suzhou for both formal and informal discussions on the state of research in space radiation and particle therapy. Please mark your calendar for this special event. For more details, please visit the conference website at: http://www.issrprt2017.com and feel free to share this invitation with your colleagues who may be interested in these areas.


Tom K. Hei & Zhifang Chai

Presidents of the 5th International Symposium on Space Radiation and Particle Therapy