UCLA wins renewal of $14 million grant to find medical countermeasures to radiological attacks

DiagnosticImaging.com | October 21 – Researchers in the radiation oncology department at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have received a $14 million grant to develop countermeasures that will help treat damage caused by radiological or nuclear threats such as a dirty bomb attack.

The grant, awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is a renewal of a five-year, $14 million grant first awarded to UCLA in 2005. The grant is part of a major research effort to develop medical products to diagnose, prevent, and treat the short- and long-term consequences of radiation exposure after a radiological or nuclear terrorist attack.

UCLA is one of seven institutions nationwide, and the only one on the West Coast, that are part of the countermeasures initiative. William McBride, a professor of radiation oncology and a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher, serves as UCLA’s principal investigator.

Thus far, more than $105 million has been awarded under the Centers for Countermeasures Against Radiation program. The program supports research in radiation biology, as well as projects to develop diagnostic tools to measure radiation exposure and therapeutics to treat resulting tissue damage. At UCLA, researchers are focusing on identifying compounds that would mitigate the damage that radiation exposure does to the immune system, McBride said.

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