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Opportunity at Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI)

Tissue and Organ-Specific Biomarkers of Radiation Injury


Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Radiation Biophysics Department

RO# Location
15.61.07.B8445 Bethesda, MD 208895603


Name E-mail Phone
Ossetrova, Natalia I 301.295.1619


Exposure of human beings to ionizing radiation, accidental or occupational, poses significant health risks. The radiation injury effects are wide-ranging and include systemic and organ-specific damage. Several bioassay types, such as, cytogenetic, mutational, cell survival, clonogenic, and cell transformative assays, have been used for decades to aid the assessment of health risk following radiation exposure. However, currently available assays have failed to reveal the molecular mechanisms involved in response to radiation exposure, and thus, estimations of long-term health risks remain uncertain. Consequently, increasing efforts are being made to develop molecular methodologies that are more sensitive and convenient at the genomic and proteomic levels to identify biomarkers of radiation exposure. If successful, these efforts would provide molecular signatures that could be of value for predicting phenotypic outcomes following radiation exposure, whether accidental or due to radiation therapy, as well as efficacy of countermeasure.

We have developed rapid blood-protein bioassays and method to assess the radiation exposure to an individual and demonstrated the utility of combining proteomic and hematology biomarkers for radiation dose assessment. Those biomarkers and algorithm have been applied to a hand-held, field deployable point-of-care (POC) biodosimetry device that is currently on the validation stage to get the FDA’s approval. These efforts are a component of AFRRI’s applied mission and are based on the central hypothesis that the level of specific macular biomarkers can be measured using immunodiagnostic technologies and may be useful to provide early diagnostic information for acute radiation exposures, to perform rapid casualty triage by assessing radiation exposure doses absorbed, and to provide a diagnostic information of organ-specific radiation injury.

The goal is to validate multiple early-phase and tissue-specific molecular biomarkers that can provide diagnostic information of organ-specific radiation injury that will benefit the management of radiation casualties and assist the physicians to choose the appropriate medical treatments and hence reducing the adverse acute effects or long-term risks associated with radiation exposure. We expect to get the better understanding the biology of the tissue and organ-specific radiation injury and contribute to development of pharmacological medical countermeasures to radiation injury that can be used by military personnel and emergency responders. In addition, this may also benefit cancer patients, who are undergoing radiation treatment, by helping the physicians to develop better treatment options.



Ossetrova NI, et al: Health Physics 111(2): 134-144, 2016

Ossetrova NI, et al: Radiation Protection Dosimetry: 1-18, 2016

Ossetrova NI, et al: Health Physics 106: 772-786, 2014

Ossetrova NI, et al: Radiation Protection Dosimetry 159(1-4): 61-76, 2014


Molecular biomarkers; Radiation injury; Biodosimetry; Organ-damage effects of radiation;


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