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Radiation Biology and Human Health

ENEA carries out research and innovation activities and provides advanced services on ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. ENEA also develops products, processes and methodologies aimed at understanding the harmful effects and mechanisms of action of noxious chemical and physical agents. This scientific and technical knowledge allows coping with radioprotection and health technologies problems, thus contributing to development of the national industrial sector and supporting the mission of the Institutions devoted to public health protection.

Activities are mainly focused on:

Biology of ionizing and non-ionizing radiations:
  • Radiobiology on cellular and animal models
  • Development of animal models for the evaluation of damaging effects and exposure risks
  • Evaluation of exposure to non-ionizing radiation at different frequencies (0-300 GHz) and dose quantification in biosystems
  • Studies on thermal and non thermal effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields
  • Evaluation of the immune response regulation
  • Studies to evaluate the risk of exposure to low-dose cosmic radiation
  • Evaluation of individual radiosensitivity
  • New oncology and clinical therapy technologies
  • Identification of the molecular mechanisms in the pathogenesis of inflammatory processes
  • Dose quantification in biological targets irradiated by ionizing radiation at different energy levels
  • Setting up particle accelerators and radiation generators for medical (radiotherapy, adrotherapy) and industrial applications
  • Setting up radiogenic systems for medical, industrial and research applications
  • Development and experimental application of methodologies to detect cellular and molecular mechanisms of genetic and reproductive damages due to exposure to radiations and other noxious agents
  • Biomonitoring of exposed populations
  • Epidemiological studies to evaluate the health status of populations living in different environmental contexts
Biotechnologies and biopharmaceutical products:
  • Advanced biotechnologies exploiting plants as "biofactories" for recombinant pharmaceuticals
  • Design of scientific, technological and industrial platforms devoted to the production of new molecules from plants and cell cultures
  • Development of biopharmaceutical products for vaccines, diagnostics, targeted-therapy or molecular imaging.
More information:

Annual report 2010 of UTBIORAD


Technical Unit for Radiation Biology and Human Health - UTBIORAD
Head: Carmela Marino

Technical Unit for the Development of Applications of Radiations - UTAPRAD
Head: Roberta Fantoni

National Institute of Ionizing Radiation Metrology - INMRI
Director: Pierino De Felice

Radiation Protection Institute - IRP
Director: Elena Fantuzzi

Contained greenhouse designed for growing plants engineered to produce pharmaceutical proteins

Non-ionizing electromagnetic fields: Set up of exposure systems for biological studies (cell TEM system, from GSM to WiFi), and evaluation of potentially harmful effects

Assessment of DNA damage response in male germ cells exposed to ionizing radiation or chemical mutagens (A) Immunohistochemical detection of g-H2AX foci in mouse testicular sections. (B) Flow cytometric analysis of DNA content and level of histone H2AX phosphorylation in mouse testicular cells. (C) DNA strand breaks detected by comet assay in spermatozoa.

Patched1 heterozygous mice used for radiation bystander tumorigenesis protocol