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NIAID announces 25 new awards to develop radiation countermeasures
Date:10/7/2008

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded 25 new grants to develop new and better diagnostics and treatments for radiation exposure after a nuclear attack. Several of these grants were awarded under Project Bioshield Authority, legislation that enables NIAID within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to use a rapid award process to help stimulate research on medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) threats.

In the event of a nuclear attack, people exposed to radiation would suffer from injuries to important tissues and organs, such as the skin, lungs, blood cells, nervous system and digestive tract. The severity of these injuries would vary. Proper diagnosis and prompt treatment of those affected is a key issue.

"These 25 new awards will help seed basic science research in areas of radiation exposure after nuclear attack that are not currently being addressed," says Richard Hatchett, M.D., associate director of Radiation Countermeasures Research and Emergency Preparedness at NIAID.

In 2005 Congress identified the need to the expand research on countermeasures against CBRN threats and gave funding to HHS specifically for this purpose. HHS assigned NIAID the leadership role in managing basic research efforts to develop medical treatments and diagnostics for CBRN threats, and NIAID and the Biodefense Advanced Research and Development Authority collaborate to promote product development of promising candidate countermeasures. NIAID also works closely with the Food and Drug Administration for regulation and approval of all countermeasures developed to protect citizens against these agents.

According to Dr. Hatchett, the new awards support both focused and investigator-initiated projects intended to increase the current understanding about radiation damage to the body after a radiological or
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Contact: Julie Wu
wujuli@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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