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ORAU's expertise in radiation science and dosimetry is backed by decades of support to national missions in radiation dose reconstruction and radiological emergency response. Whether it's providing rapid response to radiation emergencies, conducting dose reconstruction of former workers or educating professionals in the radiation sciences, ORAU has been an active contributor to the radiation science and dosimetry fields for more than 40 years.

ORAU has a long history of successful partnerships with corporations and government agencies, many of which have led to discoveries that address some of our nation’s most pressing challenges in the radiation sciences. We are looking to partner with universities and industry to expand the body of knowledge in these important fields. Opportunities for research projects exist for improving cytogenetic biodosimetry techniques, discovering advances in radiation emergency response, microdosimetry of systemic and targeted radiotherapies, and supporting space exploration, such as optimizing shielding thickness and minimizing secondary radiation produced in shielding.

Research focus areas

  • Epidemiologic study using biodosimetry protocols
  • Radiation dosimetry
  • Thermography and use of Pelger-Huet Anomaly for biodosimetry
  • High-throughput biodosimetry; increase research collaboration opportunities between cytogenetic biodosimetry laboratories
  • Use of epigenetic markers for assessing radiation effects
  • Validation of new biomarkers with “gold standard” dicentric chromosomal analysis
  • Research the psychological and sociological impacts of radiological releases
  • Low-dose radiation DNA repair mechanisms
  • Impact study of medical patients treated with radionuclides on public dose
Scientist in the cytogenetic biodosimetry laboratory
REAC/TS researchers investigate Pseudo Pelger-Huet Anomaly

REAC/TS researchers investigate Pseudo Pelger-Huet Anomaly

The Pseudo Pelger-Huet Anomaly (PPHA), an acquired abnormality in blood cells, has historically been associated with different types of leukemia or pathologic states resulting from exposure to certain infections or drugs. In recent research conducted by REAC/TS, PPHA has also been discovered to be a potential new biodosimeter in the measurement of radiation dose received in acute exposure events. The research team worked with archival blood samples from patients involved in the 1958 Y-12 criticality accident, as well as other samples from historically documented acute dose cases. The samples were used to determine the presence of PPHA as a potential new radiation-induced biomarker.

The REAC/TS Cytogenetic Biodosimetry Laboratory found that this PPHA biomarker appears to be present in the blood early post-accident (<9 hours) and is stable for at least 16 years post-accident. This discovery provides significantly enhanced biodosimetry capability in diagnosing acute radiation dose in patients. Findings from this research were published in Health Physics: The Radiation Safety Journal.

Our Experts

Adayabalam S. Balajee, Ph.D.

Adayabalam S. Balajee, Ph.D.

Expertise: Radiation biology, mechanisms of chromosomal aberrations, DNA repair and chromosomal aberrations, RecQ helicases in human aging and cancer, nucleotide excision repair and its interplay with transcription and human diseases

Select Co-Authored Publications:

Jason Davis, Ph.D.

Jason Davis, Ph.D.

Expertise: Dose assessment, health physics, emergency response, and biokinetic modeling

Davis is a highly regarded health physicist, bringing more than 14 years of experience in health physics and radiological engineering to REAC/TS. He has worked in academia as well as for DOE and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His primary area of interest is internal dosimetry, and he has experience in external dosimetry, diagnostic medical imaging, radiation biology and radiation protection.

In 2017, Davis was the recipient of the Elda E. Anderson Award by the Health Physics Society, of which he is an active member. The award is bestowed to one of the society’s young members for excellence in research or development, discovery or invention, or significant contributions to the health physics profession.

Contact us

If you have questions about ORAU's Research partnerships, contact 865.576.1717 or .