Newswise — WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $2 million in new funding to support translational research and development (R&D) of novel, medically relevant isotopes to accelerate evaluation for usage in pre-clinical and clinical trials. The new funds will be provided as part of a key federal program that produces critical isotopes otherwise unavailable or in short supply for U.S. science, medicine, national security, and industry, known as the DOE Isotope Program.

Radioisotopes, or naturally decaying atoms, are used in medical diagnostic procedures to study dynamic processes occurring in various parts of the human body. These processes are imperceptible without these tools, and radioisotope-based diagnostic procedures offer significant advantages over standard X-ray technologies. Radioisotopes have also shown great promise in medical therapy procedures, such as in the treatment of cancer and infectious disease.

“This funding will advance research to evaluate new isotopes for use in pre-clinical and clinical trials, with potentially enormous benefits to the field of modern medicine,” said Dr. Jehanne Gillo, Director of the DOE Isotope Program (IP).

While the DOE Isotope Program introduces novel isotopes to the medical community for evaluation, the support of pre-clinical and clinical trials is not part of the mission of the DOE Isotope Program.

Applications are open to all accredited U.S. colleges and universities, national laboratories, nonprofits, and private sector companies. Awards are envisioned for both single investigators and small multi-institutional collaborations. Total planned funding is $2 million, with all funding available in Fiscal Year 2022, contingent on congressional appropriations.

The Funding Opportunity Announcement, sponsored by Office of Isotope Research and Development and Production within the Department’s Office of Science, can be found here.