Future progress in radiation sciences depends upon a cadre of scientists who are both knowledgeable about radiation effects on cells and tissues and technologically trained to a high standard. Classically trained radiobiologists are approaching retirement age and newer generation scientists, coming from more focused specialties (such as molecular biology) have not received, in many cases, the broad training that ensures success in radiation-related research. To this end, an effort is being made to enhance current training in the radiation sciences through the development of a supplemental training course that will incorporate radiobiology, radiation physics and experimental methodology. The aim is to provide, at a national level, enhanced radiation training and to coordinate this effort among a number of existing training programs, national societies (ASTRO, RRS) and International groups (ESTRO). Current plans are to develop a one-week intensive course and the eventual generation, through this course, of internet-based teaching tools that would be available globally.
RABRAT (Radiobiology Bioterrorism Research and Training Group) is an informal working group of representatives of governmental agencies that are involved in radiation research, including the low dose program of the Department of Energy, the medical countermeasures program of NIAID, radiation biology and biodosimetry of AFRRI (DoD), space radiation (NASA) and others interested in radiation sciences and preparedness for radiation accidents and terrorism events. Its purpose is to keep each other informed of ongoing activities and to avoid both gaps and duplication of effort. Members include, in addition to those from RRP, representatives of HHS, other NCI divisions (DCEG, DCB, DCP), other Institutes (NIAID), other governmental agencies (FDA, DOD, NASA, DARPA, BARDA, NRC, DHS, DOE, EPA, and REAC/TS. RABRAT meets 3 to 4 times/year.
Educational web resources are available that have been developed as part of the Centers for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiation(CMCR) program at NIH administered through the National Institute of Allegy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The NIH is not responsible for the content of these external links. These resources include the following: