Meeting Overview

Pioneer studies of the group of Leon Sanche [Science 287, 1658 (2000)] showed that low energy electrons, with energies below the ionisation level, can produce simple and double strand breaks to molecular constituents of DNA, playing thus a special role in radiation damage. Since secondary low energy electrons are abundantly produced along the track of high energy particles, traditional concepts as absorbed dose are not appropriate to describe radiation effects at the molecular level and a detailed description of the interactions and products should be achieved. These considerations motivated the RADAM collaboration (Radiation Damage in Biomolecular Systems) which has been running since 2003 with support of the ESF through the COST programme (Action P9). Its main objective is to obtain a detailed understanding of the fundamental interaction processes initiated by the deposition of various types of radiation in biological material. This also introduces the exciting prospect that it may be possible to manipulate the effects of ionizing radiation at a molecular level within the cell.

A wide range of complementary experimental and theoretical expertise is brought together under this Programme, leading to models of track structures in irradiated media. Such models can be used to determine a more reliable quantification of human epidemiological experience when subject to low radiation doses. However, as pointed out in the last working group meetings, important questions related to the applicability of these results to actual medical situations and how new developments in this area could affect to the medical protocols in use should be discussed.

The main objective of this symposium is to present the advances of the RADAM community discussing, together with some experts in biomedical applications of radiation, their suitability for medical issues.


The meeting is supported by:


Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

Real Sociedad Española de Física Ministerio de educación y Ciencia
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia
COST Action P9 European Science Foundation
La Paz Hospital
New University of Lisbon