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Opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Biological Effects Associated with Terahertz Radiation


711 Human Performance Wing, RHD/Bioeffects Division

RO# Location
13.15.10.B8221 Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234


Name E-mail Phone
Echchgadda, Ibtissam 210.539.8004


Terahertz (THz) radiation is defined as electromagnetic radiation with frequencies ranging from 0.1 to 10 THz. In recent years, many THz sensing and imaging technologies have been developed that have revolutionized the landscape of this rapidly evolving research discipline. These innovative technologies are now finding increasing use for a host of medical, military, and security applications. The emergence of these innovative THz-based systems has opened the door for numerous exciting applications, but the introduction of these new systems has also prompted safety concerns regarding this new technology and has stimulated much interest and activity in the ever growing THz bioeffects research community.

The mission of AFRL's Radio Frequency Radiation Branch is to understand the fundamental effects of exposure to THz radiation not only to support the development of exposure standards to ensure the safety of our military personnel, but also to identify areas ripe for exploitation.

Specifically, we seek to provide a scientific basis to answer the following questions: (1) What are the exact biophysical and biochemical mechanisms that govern THz interactions with biological structures (i.e., cells, organelles, and macromolecules)? (2) Can these mechanisms be exploited for selective non-contact stimulation and control of biological activity? Our current work investigates (1) the effects of THz frequencies on microtubule formation and dynamics and (2) the downstream effects on intracellular bioenergetics, cellular damage and survival.

Our team has widespread expertise in several research areas, including biophysics, molecular and cellular biology, computer science, genomics, bioinformatics and proteomics, as well as physics, optics and biomedical engineering. Our team also collaborates with other government entities, and with academia and industry,



Wilmink GJ, et al: Journal of Infrared, Millimeter and Terahertz Waves 32: 10, 2011

Echchgadda I, el al. Journal of Biomedical Optics 18(12): 120503, 2013

Echchgadda I, et al: Cells 2(2): 224, 2013


Terahertz; Biophysical effects of radiation; Cell; Microtubules; Mitochondria; Flow cytometry; Atomic force microscopy; Fluorescent microscopy; THz spectroscopy;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
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