Public Release: 

Low dose radiation research grants awarded

DOE/US Department of Energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have jointly funded six basic research projects intended to expand our understanding of the health effects of low doses of ionizing radiation. The six three-year projects will be funded for a total of $6.69 million.

The research teams will apply similar experimental techniques and research designs to study problems that are relevant to both the DOE Low Dose Radiation Research Program and the NASA Space Radiation Health Program. The goal of DOE's program is to help determine human health risks from exposures to low levels of radiation encountered in work and cleanup environments. Similarly, the goal of NASA's program is to pinpoint health risks from radiation exposure to astronauts working in the space environment. DOE's research focuses on very low doses of x-rays and gamma rays, whereas NASA studies low levels of particulate ionizing radiation (alpha particles, protons and high energy heavy ions) that comprise the solar wind and cosmic rays. In both cases, this information is needed to determine adequate and appropriate protective measures for personnel.

The projects will be funded by the DOE Office of Science's Office of Biological and Environmental Research and by NASA's Space Radiation Health Program, Office of Biological and Physical Research.

A list of the joint DOE/NASA investigators, their institutions, research projects and level of funding follows. Additional information on the individual projects is available from the DOE/NASA press offices or on the World Wide Web at:

Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, N.Y.
Betsy M. Sutherland
"DNA Damage Clusters in Low Level Radiation Responses of Human Cells"

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif.
Terumi Kohwi-Shigematsu
"SATB1 Deficiency Accounts for High Susceptibility to Low Dose Radiation"

Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, Calif. Lora M. Green
"Low Dose Gamma Irradiation Potentiates Secondary Exposure to Gamma Rays or Protons in Thyroid Tissue Analogs"

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Wash.
Eric J. Ackerman
"Effects Of Low Doses of Radiation on DNA Repair"

Texas Engineering Experiment Station
The Texas A & M University System, College Station, Texas
John R. Ford
"Low Dose Response of Respiratory Cells in Intact Tissues and Reconstituted Tissue Constructs"

University of Texas, Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas
Michael N. Cornforth
"Cytogenetic Response of Low Doses of Ionizing Radiation"


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