PNRI launches Radiation Research Center

MANILA – The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) launched on Wednesday a center for radiation research, a field that could be pivotal in developing radiation safety standards and in assuring the safety of nuclear workers and the public in the event of nuclear accidents and emergencies.

Located at its compound in Quezon City, the Radiation Research Center (RRC) was funded by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development for PHP76 million.

"The Philippines has been lacking in terms of pre-clinical research on radiation effects in cancer and normal cells. With the multi-disciplinary capabilities offered in the newly established RRC, I am certain that the exceptional innovations in radiation research that will be produced (here) will be very useful in translating results from the laboratory bench to the clinical setting," Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said.

"[The facility] is basically a pre-clinical research facility where the equipment are for mice for research," he said in a Viber message.

According to De la Peña, the establishment of the RRC will provide opportunities for collaborations within the local and international academe, the industry, and hospitals.

"This advanced field of research will surely attract researchers from all over the country who likewise aim to partake in the battle against cancer and the early and late effects of radiation exposure," he added.

The DOST envisions the RRC to be at the forefront of pre-clinical research and collaborations on radiation oncology and drug development, as well as in dosimetry.

De la Peña noted that by investigating radiation effects in the pre-clinical setting, the country will be able to innovate cancer care tailored for Filipino patients and improve treatment outcomes.

Project leader Chitho Feliciano said that currently, researchers do basic research and development studies at the RRC.

According to Feliciano, radiation protection activities and nuclear regulations are anchored on research results obtained in radiobiology. (PNA)

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