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Professor Harold M. Swartz (photo courtesy Dartmouth Medical School)
Dartmouth is the lead institution working on revolutionary technology that will drastically improve doctors’ ability to diagnose radiation exposure caused from unexpected events, such as the massive failure and meltdown of Japan’s Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant last March.
Researchers at Dartmouth Medical School have been working to perfect an easy-to-use, portable dosimeter, invented by radiologist and Dartmouth professor Harold M. Swartz, to detect levels of radiation in teeth.
Although this technology potentially has multiple uses, the current focus of the electronic paramagnetic resonance (EPR) research is situations, such as nuclear accidents or terrorist attacks, where people may have been exposed to radiation but don’t know their level of exposure.
In 2010, the National Institutes of Health awarded Swartz’s research in EPR a $16.6 million, five-year commitment to allow Dartmouth Medical School’s EPR Center to form the Biodosimetry Center for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiation.