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Biological Sciences

Radiological and Nuclear Threat Research

Contact: Dr. Karla D. Thrall


PNNL is developing critical tools that enable the development of medical countermeasures

PNNL offers strong radiological and nuclear research capabilities focused on medical countermeasures development. For the Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Research and Development Authority (BARDA), PNNL researchers are conducting studies to fully characterize and qualify animal models for their ability to demonstrate a response to radiological and/or nuclear medical countermeasures that will be predictive for humans, including the ability to extrapolate pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics data from animal to human to determine appropriate dosing regimens.


Four-dimensional dynamic CT imaging of a live rat lung. These are used to generate 4D images of lung ventilation, or volume change over time.

PNNL researchers are conducting studies to evaluate efficacy of new and improved countermeasures and diagnostic tools to combat the continuing threat of terrorism and other nuclear emergencies. Additionally, internal resources are currently being directed toward discovery of early biomarkers associated with the development or progression of radiation-induced lung injury using small animal imaging capabilities.

Investigators: Karla D. Thrall, Jamie Lovaglio, Richard Jacob, Richard Weller, Jordan N. Smith

Selected Publications:

Jacob RE, and WJ Lamm. 2011. "Stable Small Animal Mechanical Ventilation for Dynamic Lung Imaging to Support Computational Fluid Dynamics Models." PLoS One 6(11):e27577. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027577

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