Converting Energy to Medical Progress

For over 50 years the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) of the United States Department of Energy (DOE) has been investing to advance environmental and biomedical knowledge connected to energy. The BER Medical Sciences program fosters research to develop beneficial applications of nuclear technologies for medical diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. Today, nuclear medicine helps millions of patients annually in the United States. Nearly every nuclear medicine scan or test used today was made possible by past BER-funded research on radiotracers, radiation detection devices, gamma cameras, PET and SPECT scanners, and computer science.

The heart of biological research within BER has always been the pursuit of improved human health. The nuclear medicine of tomorrow will depend greatly on today's BER-supported research, particularly in the discovery of radiopharmaceuticals that seek specific molecular and genetic targets, the design of advanced scanners needed to create meaningful images with these future radiotracers, and the promise of new radiopharmaceutical treatments for cancers and genetic diseases."

Note: Before the U.S. Department of Energy was created in 1977, BER existed under different names within other federal agencies.

Michael V. Viola, MD, Director, Medical Sciences Division, BER

Michael V. Viola, M.D., Director
Medical Sciences Division, BER


Next: Doctors Rely on Nuclear Medicine To Help Many Types of Patients


Table of Contents * About BER * Many Patients * How Does It Work? * BER Medical * Future Healthcare * BNL * LBNL * ORNL * Sloan-Kettering * UCLA * Washington Univ. * Univ. of Michigan * 50-Years * Credits

Published April 2001

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