Radiation Effects

We have areas of expertise and capability in the following:

 

Cellular biology

  • isolation, propagation and use of human primary skin cells
  • Irradiation exposure studies (acute and chronic)
  • epigenetic age analyses
  • ex vivo human ageing assays
  • molecular biology techniques (cloning, PCR, Q-RT-PCR, mutagenesis)
  • recombinant retrovirus transduction
  • recombinant lentivirus transduction
  • protein analyses - western blotting and immunofluorescence)
  • live cell imaging
  • cell adhesiveness assay
  • endothelial permeability assay
  • ultraviolet irradiation (A, B and C)
  • nitric oxide production assay
  • cell cycle analyses
  • DNA damage analyses

Cytogenetics

  • For biological dosimetry -
    • Set up, culture and fixation of human blood samples for the dicentric chromosome assay (DCA) and the micronucleus assay (MNA)
    • Single colour fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) for the translocation assay
    • Gamma-H2AX foci assay
    • Premature chromosome condensation assay (PCC)
    • Production of in-vitro dose response curves
    • Automated scoring for the DCA and MNA
    • Biological dosimetry statistics / software
    • Interpretation of biodosimetric assay results
    • International networking for emergency preparedness and response
    • Training in biological dosimetry assays
  • Irradiation facilities: 250 kVp X-irradiator and access to other radiation energies and qualities
  • Set up and culture of human cell lines e.g. CHO cells and lens epithelial cells
  • Isolation and staining of lens epithelium for DNA damage, cell proliferation and morphology analyses
  • Scheimpflug imaging for analysis of lens opacification
  • In vivo models of gastoinstestinal carcinogenesis including tumour scoring and sizing capabilities, and for lens effects
  • Pathological services including the histopathological preparation of tumour material using wax embedding or frozen sections for pathological examination and automated staining of slides for routine stains e.g. H&E, PAS, Masson's trichrome
  • Immunohistochemical staining of sections for DNA damage foci using γ-H2AX and 53BP1
  • Pathological diagnosis of murine tumours including immunohistochemical staining of sections for tumour differentiation e.g. myeloperoxidase, CD3, β-catenin, Apc etc
  • Laser microdissection of sections of tumour material for subsequent DNA anaylsis for genetic losses

Cancer Mechanisms and Biomarkers

  • Set-up and culture of human and mouse leukaemia cell lines
  • primary cells differentiation and characterization assays
  • hematopoietic stem cell and extra cellular vesicles isolation; cell sorting, flow-cytometry based cell characterisation and cycle analyses
  • DNA damage analyses
  • cell transfection
  • In vivo models of leukaemia
  • molecular biology techniques (cloning, PCR, SYBR Green-based and multiplex quantitative PCR, mutagenesis, FISH, CGH arrays and CRISP-CAS9 system for genome editing)
  • molecular analyses of DNA mutations as well as site-specific and genome wide methylation
  • single cell analyses and detection of extremely rare mutations shift in gene expression by digital PCR and pyrosequencing
  • Gene expression using various techniques (multiplex qPCR and Ncounter)
  • micro RNA content analyses

Physiology and Neurology

  • spatial and other mazes to test cognitive function
  • equipment to monitor and record animal behavior automatically and non-invasively in a home cage
  • implantable physiological sensors
  • exposure equipment to allow controlled well-defined exposure to magnetic fields (from 0 to 300 Hz) at up to 600 μT, and head-only and whole body exposures to 900 or 1800 MHz fields.
  • a system capable of delivery diagnostic ultrasound to pregnant animals.
  • genetic analyser capable of assessing gene expression and fragment analysis.

Radiation Epidemiology

  • Expertise in statistics as applied to epidemiology
  • Access to major UK radiation epidemiological cohorts, notably for occupational exposure
  • Statistical analysis and interpretation for radiobiological studies
  • Advice on low and high dose radiation health risks and effects