We are requesting funds to purchase a gamma irradiator system (Gammacell 1000 Elite, Best Theratronics) to support NIH-funded basic health disparities-related research at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM)/Atlanta University Center (AUC). The Gammacell 1000 Elite is a self-contained gamma irradiator using a cesium source. The irradiator is used for a variety of research purposes including, but not limited to: studying radiation-induced injury, sterilizing materials, selecting specific cell types, and suppressing immune reactions. It is, therefore, an indispensable instrument for biomedical research, in particular in the areas of hematology, cancer, infectious/immune diseases, transplantation, and regenerative medicine. Clark Atlanta University (CAU) currently houses one Gammacell irradiator under supervision of the MSM/AUC Radiation Safety Office. This is the only gamma cell Irradiator in the AUC Consortium, which consists of four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (MSM, CAU, Morehouse College, and Spelman College). For the past 18 years, since the irradiator was purchased by CAU in 1994, multiple investigators, including those supported by NIH grants at MSM and CAU have been benefiting from using the irradiator for their research in cancer, sexually transmittable infectious diseases, and regenerative medicine for stroke and cardiovascular disease with the purpose of eliminating health disparities. As of December 31, 2010, the manufacturer issued an end-of-useful-life- cycle letter and can no longer guarantee replacement parts on this unit. Consequently, if a mechanical malfunction occurs and replacement parts are not in inventory, the irradiator will become permanently disabled and subject to mandatory decommissioning. Continued availability of the instrument is indispensable to four major users representing four departments at MSM, who are conducting NIH- funded health disparities research. Thus, we are requesting funds to purchase a new Gammacell irradiator on MSM campus. MSM/AUC administration has agreed to commit space and financial support for a facility to house the irradiator as well as preventative maintenance service contracts. The MSM/AUC Radiation Safety Program will train/assist users and will monitor usage of the facility. The availability of the instrument is essential for recruiting and training talented students and scientists who will become tomorrow's leaders in helping to solve the persistent health disparities that exist in underserved minority populations.
Gammacell 1000 Elite is a self-contained gamma irradiator with a cesium source, which is indispensable for biomedical research such as hematology, cancer, infectious/immune diseases, transplantation, and regenerative medicine. We are requesting funds to purchase a gamma irradiator system (Gammacell 1000 Elite, Best Theratronics) for NIH-funded basic research concerning health disparities at Morehouse School of Medicine located at Atlanta University Center. The availability of the instrument is also essential to attract and to train talented students and young scientists who will become tomorrow's leaders in solving the nation's urgent health issue.