About the Center for High-Throughput Minimally-Invasive Radiation Biodosimetry
After a large-scale radiological event, there will be a major need to assess, within a few days, the radiation doses received by tens or hundreds of thousands of individuals.
The National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) was tasked with forming a research program for the development of response countermeasures for these types of events. The formed the Center for Medical Countermeasures for Radiation Consortium (CMCRC) which is formed by several research Centers throughout the country. Our Center, the Center for High-Throughput, Minimally-Invasive Radiation Biodoimtry, is a research Center to develop practical, high throughput, minimally-invasive radiation dose assessment devices and techniques to meet this need. This Center represents a multidisciplinary balance between radiation biologists, radiation physicists, radiation chemists, mechanical engineers, software engineers, product development experts, commercial companies in the field, and end users.
Structure of our CMCR Center
Our CMCR Center consists of 3 independent projects:
- Cytogenetic Biomarkers
- Genomic Biomarkers
- Metabolomic Biomarkers
Whenever possible the 3 projects share irradiated samples. All Projects are serviced by a common administrative core, animal handling core, irradiation core and biostatistics core.
Pilot projects are encouraged to interact with at least one main project and make use of the available cores.
Research Center Institutions
The two institutions involved in our Center are:
Columbia University, New York, NY (lead institution)
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Several other institutions have previously been involved with our Center, but have become consultants as the directions of the overall CMCRC progam have changed through sucessive funding cycles building on previous progam progress.
Research Areas of Focus
Our Center work focuses on three main directions:
Beyond Simple Exposures
Historically, biodosimetry studies have focused on external whole-body photon irradiation. To build on these studies, our current focus is to assess the significance of a variety of other radiation scenarios that are likely to occur, in particular, the effects of internal emitters, different dose rates, and neutron exposure.
In that we have developed high-throughput systems for using various biomarkers for biodosimetry, we also are in a unique position to probe the application of these biomarkers for predicting inter-individual sensitivity to acute radiation syndromes. This will enable us to examine correlations between our high-throughput biomarkers and individual late radiation sensitivity, specifically the severity of pneumonitis, and it will enable us to probe the associated mechanisms of individual radiation pneumonitis response and recovery
Our third theme is technology development. We build on the fact that, in contrast to when the CMCR program was initiated, commercial high-throughput technologies for cell handling, gene expression, and metabolomics are now increasingly available in university, industry, and in clinical testing laboratories.
Research is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH).