DOE sponsors medical research to understand underlying biological,
genetic, and molecular processes.
This knowledge can then be
used to develop new therapies, drugs, and vaccines leading to longer, healthier
lives. A leader in the application of science to longstanding and emerging
public health threats, DOE also sponsors cutting-edge research designed to
create a healthier environment.
DOE began the Human Genome Initiative in 1987forerunner of the U.S. Human
Genome Project (HGP)and cosponsors the U.S. HGP with the National Institutes of
Health. Knowledge, resources, and technologies emanating from the HGP are
furthering understanding of genetic influences on human health and have created
the field of genomic medicine which is playing an increasingly important role in
the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of diseases.
DOE pioneered the field of nuclear medicine in the 1940s and continues to
advance the field today.
Radiotracers and imaging systems
discovered, designed, or developed by DOE scientists include
radiopharmaceuticals, the gamma camera, and advanced imaging systems such as
Positron Emission Tomography (PET), single-photon emission computed tomography
(SPECT), and other CT scanners. Radioactive isotopes produced at DOE
laboratories played pivotal roles in nuclear medicine and biology. Additionally,
the therapeutic use of radionuclides and their application to physiological
studies increased in proportion to the availability of these new substances.
DOE supports basic engineering research to develop innovative medical technology
that can be transferred to other agencies for clinical testing or to industry
for further commercial development. This multidisciplinary, multi-institutional
research addresses high-risk medical technology problems in areas such as
medical photonics, smart medical instruments, biomedical imaging, and artificial
organs. DOE laser research is intended to advance fundamental areas of laser
science relevant to clinical research, particularly for noninvasive medical
procedures consistent with the national need to control healthcare costs.
Related Topics: addiction research, advanced medical
instrumentation, advanced imaging catheters, artificial Retina and other imaging
devices, breast cancer treatment, breast cancer detection, defending against
chemical and biological attacks, diabetes research, disease-susceptibility
research, gene research, heart disease research, Human Genome Project, Improving
air quality in public buildings, laser medicine, low dose radiation research,
magnetic resonance imaging, medical management of biological agent casualties,
medical product innovations, neutron radiation therapy, nuclear medical imaging,
nuclear medicine research, Positron Emission Tomography (PET), prostate cancer
detection and treatment, protecting human subjects, public health data around
DOE installations, radiation health effect research, radiochemical cancer
treatment research, radiopharmaceutical research, X-ray Angiography Beamline at
National Synchrotron Light Source
The Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.