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Paul F. Wilson Jr.

Biology User Support Team – NASA Space Radiation Laboratory

Paul Wilson heads the Biology Department’s NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) User Support Team. The NSRL facility, operated jointly with BNL’s Collider-Accelerator and Medical Departments, supplies beams of high-energy protons and heavy-charged particles used by researchers from the US and around the world to simulate the effects of space radiation exposures on biological systems, materials and instruments pertinent to NASA’s mission objectives. The NSRL Biology User Support Team consists of scientific, professional and administrative staff members who provide radiobiology expertise and NSRL facility support to over 200 NASA-funded researchers worldwide.

Research Interests

  • Studying effects of low and high linear energy transfer (LET) ionizing radiation on normal, tumor and DNA damage signaling and repair-deficient cells, tissues, and animal models over wide ranges of doses and dose rates.
  • Identifying links between cellular radiosensitivity, individual cancer predisposition, and genetics with a primary focus on DNA damage response pathways including DNA damage sensing, signaling, and repair, and chromatin/epigenetic modifications.
  • Developing reliable, high-throughput phenotype-based radiation biodosimetry assays using techniques such as combinatorial immunocytochemistry, molecular cytogenetics, and novel DNA sensing/amplification technologies; validating new radiation biodosimetry assays against “gold-standard” radiobiological assays.
  • Assessing population-level functional variation in biological responses to ionizing radiation given our inherently large degree of genetic diversity.

This research is funded by grants from the U.S. DOE Low Dose Radiation Research Program and the NASA Space Radiation Program.

Selected Publications

  • Wilson P.F., and Bedford J.S. 
    Radiobiological Principles.
    The Textbook of Radiation Oncology, Third Edition, pp. 1–30, T.L. Phillips, R.T. Hoppe and M.A. Roach III (eds.), W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, PA (2010).
  • Wilson P.F., Hinz J.M., Urbin S.S., Nham P.B., and Thompson L.H. 
    Influence of homologous recombinational repair on cell survival and chromosomal aberration induction during the cell cycle in gamma-irradiated CHO cells.
    DNA Repair, 9(7):737–744 (2010).  PubMed
  • Wilson P.F., Nagasawa H., Fitzek M.M., Little J.B., and Bedford J.S. 
    G2-phase chromosomal radiosensitivity of primary fibroblasts from hereditary retinoblastoma family members and some apparently normal controls
    Radiation Research, 173(1):62–70 (2010).  PubMed
  • Wilson P.F., Nham P.B., Urbin S.S., Hinz J.M., Jones I.M., and Thompson L.H. 
    Inter-individual variation in DNA double-strand break repair in human fibroblasts before and after exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation.
    Mutation Research, 683(1-2):91–97 (2010).  PubMed
  • Kato T.A., Wilson P.F., Nagasawa H., Peng Y., and Bedford J.S.
    Variations in radiosensitivity among individuals: a potential impact on risk assessment?
    Health Physics, 97(5):470–480 (2009).  PubMed
  • Nagasawa H., Wilson P.F., Chen D.J., Thompson L.H., Bedford J.S., and Little J.B. 
    Low doses of alpha particles do not induce sister chromatid exchanges in bystander Chinese hamster cells defective in homologous recombination. 
    DNA Repair, 7(3):515–522 (2008).  PubMed
  • Wilson P.F., Nagasawa H., Warner C.L., Fitzek M.M., Little J.B., and Bedford J.S. 
    Radiation sensitivity of primary fibroblasts from hereditary retinoblastoma family members and some apparently normal controls: colony formation ability during continuous low-dose-rate gamma irradiation.
    Radiation Research, 169(5):483–494 (2008).  PubMed
  • Fan J.S., Wilson P.F., Wong H.-K., Urbin S.S., Thompson L.H., and Wilson D.M. III. 
    XRCC1 down regulation in human cells leads to DNA damaging agent sensitivity, elevated sister chromatid exchange, and reduced survival of BRCA2 mutant cells.
    Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis 48(6):491–500 (2007).  PubMed
  • Hinz J.M., Tebbs R.S., Wilson P.F., Nham P.B., Salazar E.P., Nagasawa H., Urbin S.S., Bedford J.S., and Thompson L.H. 
    Repression of mutagenesis by Rad51D-mediated homologous recombination. 
    Nucleic Acids Research 34(5):1358–1368 (2006).  PubMed
  • Kato T.A., Wilson P.F., Nagasawa H., Fitzek M.M., Weil M.M., Little J.B., and Bedford J.S. 
    A defect in DNA double strand break processing in cells from unaffected parents of retinoblastoma patients and other apparently normal humans. 
    DNA Repair, 6(6):818–829, 2006.  PubMed
  • Nagasawa H., Peng Y., Wilson P.F., Lio Y.-C., Chen D.J., Bedford J.S., and Little J.B.
    Role of homologous recombination in the alpha particle bystander effect for sister chromatid exchanges and chromosomal aberrations
    Radiation Research 164(2):141–147 (2005).  PubMed