The Radiological Health Sciences core research group in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences has recently been approved as a research unit associated with the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Chiba, Japan. The ERHS team submitted a proposal to the NIRS International Open Laboratory program and was one of four research proposals selected from a worldwide pool of applicants for the three-year, $350,000 research and training program.
“Three years ago, NIRS began its International Open Laboratory program to link up with key institutions around the world,” said Dr. Jac Nickoloff, Head of the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences. “Since that time, Colorado State University’s partnership with NIRS has grown, and as NIRS entered the second term of IOL proposals, the time was right for us to take the next step. The IOL is a natural expansion of research and training initiatives that have been very successful, benefiting both institutions.”
Dr. Nickoloff will serve as a Distinguished Foreign Scientist with the Particle Therapy Molecular Target Research Unit. He will serve with Dr. Penelope A. Jeggo, Professor, University of Sussex, United Kingdom. Dr. Akira Fujimori, with NIRS, is the research unit head. Dr. Nickoloff said that in addition to continuing to build a strong relationship with NIRS, the IOL also will help the radiological health sciences research team leverage a P01 Program Project grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute.
“Our partnership with NIRS gives us access to a unique facility that we simply don’t have in the United States – a high-energy facility with clinical-quality carbon ion beams – that is used to treat patients as well as conduct research,” said Dr. Nickoloff. “For biological research, this partnership brings in new people and fresh ideas, while giving us access to equipment that enables us to expand our research program in radiological health sciences and cancer.”
A kickoff symposium at NIRS, Chiba, originally scheduled in June but now delayed until fall because of the recent tragedy in Japan, will bring the four units together for two days of meetings and lectures. During the first day’s closed meetings, each unit will present the purpose, schedule, materials, methods, and expected outcomes of their individual projects. The second day will be open to a general audience and include a lecture from each Distinguished Foreign Scientist. With satisfactory progress, grants to each of the units will continue for three years.