Radiobiology Research: An Expert Panel Review Conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases [open pdf - 225KB]
There are increased concerns regarding the potential of terrorists using biological, chemical, or radiological agents against the civilian population. In the past the Department of Defense maintained a research and development program which addressed these threats for military forces, including primary responsibility for countermeasures related to radiological threats. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is actively assessing relevant opportunities to exploit medical breakthroughs and focus its efforts on the development of new and effective countermeasures for all subsets of the U.S. population. On behalf of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) convened a special meeting of experts on February 26, 2003, in Bethesda, Maryland, to review ongoing research efforts in development of medical countermeasures to radiological threats. The purpose of the meeting was to: (1) provide NIAID with an overview of current radiobiology research; (2) identify gaps in research that are critical to the development of specific medical products to protect the civilian population from a radiological threat; and (3) explore ways in which the NIAID/NIH can collaborate in current radiological research efforts. With the assistance of organizations such as the National Cancer Institute, the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, and the Department of Energy, gaps were identified and short-term and mid-term research priorities were recommended. The results of this meeting will be used by the NIH Biodefense Research Coordinating Committee, as efforts across NIH are coordinated.