TO ENSURE the future of radiation research, the Department of Energy (DOE) plans to select a US-based university or consortium of universities for a new training program intended to aid the next generation of scientists in caring for patients exposed to radiation.
The program would create a center of excellence for training doctoral or postdoctoral candidates in such research fields as radioepidemiology, biostatistics, and radiobiology. Considerable training in radiation science now exists in institutions such as national laboratories and academic health physics programs, but the number of doctoral degrees awarded in health physics and radiation protection has decreased by more than half since 1975, DOE officials say.
"We plan to take a strong, interdepartmental approach to environmental science, which is lacking today," says Paul Seligman, MD, MPH, the DOE's deputy assistant secretary for health studies. "In the process, we hope to bring about renewed interest in radiation science."