Radiation Biophysics – Core Activity

OBJECTIVES
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Life Science investigations in applied radiation biology are conducted at iThemba LABS with special emphasis on the particle radiation treatment modalities generated on site. This includes the clinical therapy beams (photons, protons and neutrons) as well as cellular damage by radionuclides (Auger electron emitting isotopes). The radiobiology laboratory also supports users in other fields of applied radiation sciences including those in industrial radiation and applications in agriculture.

Research into biological phenomena induced by the different radiation types are conducted using cellular systems, both in vivo and in vitro. Studies are pursued with a view to improve therapeutic applications of the different treatment modalities as well as formulating radiobiological principles to initiate new methods. Specific projects are decided in consultation with outside users.

Development and implementation of molecular and cellular methodologies that are required to quantify biological responses are pursued. This to broaden the application of the existing biodosimetric service offered to radiation workers as well as to make possible research projects for students.

Postgraduate training is advanced by co-supervision of research projects. It applies to graduate students from different Universities and Technikons that constitute the user base of the Laboratory. This takes place in collaboration with Academic personnel at the relevant Institutions.

Lecturing at Tertiary Institutions is conducted where specific skills in radiobiology are not available at a University or Technikon. Structured lectures are given in support of the academic programme as well as to identify collaborative projects to promote outside user involvement.