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MELODI holds its 6th annual open Workshop on European Research on the Effects of Low Doses of Ionizing Radiation

Press Release

Monday, October 6th, 2014

MELODI holds its 6th annual open Workshop on European Research on the Effects of Low Doses of Ionizing Radiation

Nearly 250 experts, researchers and leaders from the radiation protection research community in Europe, as well as from Asia and America, will gather in Barcelona for 3 days to participate in the 6th International Open MELODI Workshop to address outstanding issues on the effects of low doses of ionizing radiation, generate consensus on the way forward, and sow the seeds for future research projects.

This event jointly organized by the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), an ISGlobal research center, the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) and the University Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona), will take place on 7th, 8th and 9th October 2014 at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB). This year’s workshop focuses particularly on integrating experimental and observational research.

“The workshop offers a unique opportunity to update our knowledge on health effects of ionizing radiation and to provide input to MELODI’s integrated European Strategic Research Agenda on low dose radiation protection research”, explained Elisabeth Cardis, head of the Radiation Programme at CREAL.

“This kind of workshops have really become a tradition in a few years’ time, and they are a unique occasion for senior and young scientists in this domain of research to exchange and to cooperate” stated Frank Hardeman, member of the MELODI Bureau.

The MELODI (Multidisciplinary Low Dose Initiative) Association, including 30 research organizations from 16 EU Member States, aims to advance Research and Development on the effects of low doses of radiation to ensure adequate protection of workers, patients, the general population and the environment. Despite many decades of research, several major questions remain about effects of low doses of radiation, including differences in the sensitivity of people to radiation induced effects. The premise of MELODI is that any scientific breakthrough in this difficult field can only be achieved by concerted international efforts, providing opportunities for multidisciplinary innovative projects, associating different disciplines such as biology, nuclear physics and dosimetry, epidemiology, medicine, and environmental sciences.

MELODI has already achieved a number of major steps towards this, including 1) the development of a publicly available Strategic Research Agenda (SRA), which will be discussed and further fine-tuned during the workshop; 2) MoU’s (Memorandum of Understanding) between European level organizations involved in complementary areas of radiation protection: Alliance (radioecology), EURADOS (dosimetry), NERIS (radiological emergency preparedness and response), and five major medical associations: ESR and EFRS (radiology), EANM (nuclear medicine), ESTRO (radiotherapy), EFOMP (medical physics); 3) financial support from the European Commission on a number of major collaborative projects (DoReMi, STAR, OPERRA and COMET) that support these initiatives, and co-fund new research development in accordance with agreed MELODI priorities. In 2014, a new ambitious and wide ranging project, called CONCERT, gathering over 68 participating organizations from 23 countries (including Spain) has been proposed to the EC as a response to the 2013-EURATOM research call, to identify and address radiation protection R&D priority needs in the coming years.

According to Jacques Repussard, Melodi President: "This new Europe wide approach to radiation protection research has the potential to boost scientific progress significantly, benefiting both the optimized medical use of ionising radiation and the further understanding of the impacts of nuclear industry on public health and ecosystems."

More information is available on www.melodi-online.eu and www.melodi2014.org or Dr. Elisabeth Cardis at ecardis@creal.cat.
 


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