We will use acute and chronic exposures to ionizing radiation as a means to understand underlying mechanisms of cellular and organismal stress responses. Our challenge will be to understand these mechanisms in detail so that we can predict effects of genetic and environmental differences between people on their relative risk or reward from radiation exposure, be it radiotherapy or a CT scan. To this end, we believe that critical areas of basic research must include cellular defenses against oxidative and proteotoxic stress, diet, inflammation, energy metabolism and transcriptional networks that facilitate adaptations to stress.
An emphasis will be placed on human populations who have been exposed to radiation and implement cutting-edge computational and systems biological as well as genetic approaches to integrate mechanistic studies with organismic responses and adaptations and to develop advanced models through large-scale analytical platforms to generate novel translational paths. The JBLC seeks to be able to expand its access to data and biological samples from cohorts around the world exposed to radiation. Sophisticated molecular markers of dose response, biological effects, and susceptibility traits will be explored for assessment of the association of human population radiation exposure and health effects.
Apart from the assessment of background radiation (especially radon progeny), routine uses of ionizing radiation for diagnosis, therapy, and occupational exposures to ionizing radiation, both in medicine and in the nuclear industry, the JBLC also seeks to explore and understand exposure assessment in unusual situations such as nuclear terrorism and reactor accidents. Using the combined intellectual effort of its expanding collaborative efforts, the JBLC will work to develop and implement effective humanitarian strategies for relief, protection and prevention of nuclear disasters.