The Medical Department's mission is to take advantage of the
unique facilities and expertise at Brookhaven National Laboratory
(BNL) for their potential application in medical research. In that
process it uses nuclear technology and radiopharmaceuticals to
develop new treatments, new diagnostic tools, and to study human
physiology and the mechanisms of disease in the areas of oncology
The major, long term research goals of the Department include:
Investigate new forms of radiation treatment.
(A) Characterize the molecular changes underlying drug addiction
and alcoholism and their relationship to function and treatment,
and assess the neurobiological characteristics associated with
predisposition for drug addiction.
(B) Investigate molecular changes underlying normal aging and
their relationship to vulnerability to neurodegenerative disease
(C) Investigate the actions of therapeutic drugs in the human body
to optimize their beneficial effects, minimize toxicity and
expedite their introduction into the practice of health care.
(A) Supply isotopes for medical diagnosis in the USA.
(B) Development and evaluate radiopharmaceuticals for cancer
diagnosis and treatment.
(A) Use the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) to develop
new radiation treatments based on the delivery of very narrow
beams of high doses of irradiation for the treatment of malignant
brain tumors. These narrow beams allow delivery of significantly
higher doses of radiation to the brain without the problems of
irradiation necrosis encountered with conventional
(B) Use NSLS for computed tomography (CT) scanning, mammography
and bronchography. The high flux enables delivery of monochromatic
rays that provide considerable improvement on the contrast
gradient for structures with different densities than those
obtained with conventional X-ray machines.
(A) Investigate the cellular mechanisms involved with radiation
induced cell damage.
(B) Investigate the effects of heavy particle radiation that
mimics radiation effects of space on cells and whole organisms.
The success of our research program is dependent upon the
propitious use of the unique facilities and resources at BNL.
Although much of the work is clinical, with direct application to
human health problems, the Department also maintains basic
research capabilities that provide an infrastructure for the
clinical studies. To this end, collaborations with other BNL
departments, particularly Biology, Chemistry, NSLS and the
Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS), as well as with non-BNL
institutions, are critical. The research is dependent on the
collaboration from various clinical institutions including the
State University of New York at Stony Brook, Columbia University,
New York University, and Beth Israel Medical Center.