NIH Funds Study of Injuries from Radiation Exposure

Detecting Injury Early Could Save Lives

Detecting Injury Early Could Save Lives

Profs. Susan Braunhut and Mark Tries

By Edwin L. Aguirre

A team of researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin and UMass Lowell has been awarded two grants by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling nearly $930,000 over a period of five years to develop ways to predict and mitigate injuries resulting from radiation exposure.

Prof. Susan Braunhut in Biology and Assoc. Prof. Mark Tries in Physics will collaborate with Assoc. Prof. Meetha Medhora in Wisconsin to test innovative “biomarkers” that can potentially predict radiation injuries to the lungs, weeks before symptoms become apparent. This will help doctors in reducing lung injury in victims of a radiological terrorist attack, a nuclear reactor accident or in patients receiving radiation therapy for lung and breast cancers.

The other project will study the use of the anti-hypertension drug lisinopril to mitigate radiation injuries to multiple organs, such as lungs and kidneys, before symptoms develop.