Center for High-Throughput Minimally-Invasive Radiation Biodosimetry

After a large-scale radiological event, there will be a major need to ascertain, within a few days, the radiation doses received by tens or hundreds of thousands of individuals. The Center for Radiological Research leads a Research Consortium tasked with developing practical, high throughput, minimally-invasive radiation dose assessment devices and techniques to meet this need.

Members of the Consortium include Georgetown University, the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, New York University School of Medicine, Translational Genomics Research Institute and the University of Bern, Switzerland.

We have developed high-throughput systems for using various biomarkers for biodosimetry and are also in the unique position of being able 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 acute radiation sensitivity, and it will enable us to probe the associated mechanisms of individual acute radiation sensitivity. This Consortium 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. The three areas we have identified as having the highest potential for high-throughput biodosimetry are cytogenetics, functional genomics, and metabolomics. The Consortium has acheived several milestones including: 1) Development of high-throughput systems for using various biomarkers for biodoismetry. 2) Demonstrated for the 1st time the ability of a single gene set to predict radiation dose over a significant period post-irradiation without individual pre-exposure controls. Demonstrated the potential for a urine-based metabolomics biodosimetry system, with signals increasing in a dose-response manner, and with a signal lifetime of at least several days. Research is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For more information, please see our webpage http://www.cmcr.columbia.edu/.