Newswise — WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $4 million in funding for 10 awards across 5 efforts to advance R&D for isotope production. This funding is part of a key federal program that produces critical isotopes otherwise unavailable or in short supply for U.S. science, medicine, and industry.
Isotopes, or variations of the same elements that have the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons, have unique properties that can make them useful in medical diagnostic and treatment applications. They are also important for applications in quantum information science, nuclear power, national security, and more.
Topics funded in this announcement include efforts to increase the availability of new cancer diagnostic and therapeutic agents to the medical community and broad improvements to isotope production and processing techniques with the goal of enhancing isotope availability and purity.
“Isotopes play an absolutely vital role in countless areas of science, medicine, industry, and even national and homeland security today,” said Jehanne Gillo, Director of the DOE Isotope Program. “These R&D activities will continue our efforts to ensure the availability of isotopes critical to Americans’ health, prosperity, and security that would be otherwise impossible to obtain.”
The current awards include six universities and three DOE national laboratories, with most of the awards being made to collaborative teams where universities and national laboratories work together. Funding for the two-year awards, which were selected on a competitive basis by peer review, totals $4 million in Fiscal Year 2021 dollars. A list of the awards can be found here.