Pellmar, T. C., Rockwell, S. and the Radiological/Nuclear Threat Countermeasures Working Group. Priority List of Research Areas for Radiological Nuclear Threat Countermeasures. Radiat. Res. 163, 115–123 (2005).
To help the nation prepare for the possibility of a terrorist attack using radiological and nuclear devices, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Homeland Security Council established an interagency working group. The working group deliberated on the research needs for radiological/ nuclear threat countermeasures and identified and prioritized 18 areas for further attention. The highest priorities were given to research on (1) radioprotectors for use prior to exposure; (2) therapeutic agents for postexposure treatment; (3) antimicrobial therapy for infections associated with radiation exposure; (4) cytokines and growth factors; (5) mechanisms of radiation injury at the molecular, cellular, tissue and organism levels; and (6) automation of biodosimetric assays. High priority was given to (1) developing biomarkers for biodosimetry; (2) enhancing training in the radiation sciences; (3) exploring the consequences of combined injury; (4) establishing a repository of information regarding investigational countermeasures; and (5) following the health of an exposed population to better prepare for subsequent events. The research areas that the committee felt required the attention of the radiation research community are described in this report in an effort to inform this community about the needs of the nation and to encourage researchers to address these critical issues.