Institute of Radiation Medicine

The Institute of Radiation Medicine (IRM) of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) was founded in Beijing in 1959, moved to Jianyang, Sichuan in 1969, and permanently relocated to Tianjin in 1984. With 56 years of history, IRM has become a comprehensive academic institution and national research center devoted to the study of radiation and nuclear medicine, with a focus on basic, translational, and clinical research, education, and clinical practice.

IRM has been one of China’s National Nuclear Emergency Clinics since 1997, and the Education Center for Radiation Health, approved by the Ministry of Health, since 2009. Since 2015, it has also been one of the National Technical Support Centers and a Medical Rescue Team for Nuclear Emergencies, approved by the National Nuclear Emergency Office. In 2004, IRM was certified as the Tianjin Key Laboratory of Molecular Nuclear Medicine, the Key Laboratory was renamed the Tianjin Key Laboratory of Radiation Medicine and Molecular Nuclear Medicine in 2013.

As of February 2016, the institute has 108 faculty and staff members, of whom 48 are researchers and technical personnel. Among the scientific and technical personnel, four are members of the Medical Emergency Rescue Expert Group for National Nuclear Accidents, one is a Cheung Kong Scholar of the Ministry of Education, one an awardee of the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, three are professors recruited through the Tianjin Thousand Talents Program, and four are guest professors of CAMS from the U.S. and Japan.

IRM has four laboratories and centers: the Laboratory for Radiation Effects, the Laboratory for Radioprotection and Drugs, the Laboratory for Treatment of Radiation Injuries, and the Laboratory for the Application of Nuclear Medicine. IRM also has core facilities, such as the Laboratory Animal Resource Center and the Large-Scale Structures Center, which support national research goals. The institute offers Ph.D. programs in radiation medicine, pharmacology, and biochemistry and molecular biology, and eight Master’s degree programs covering various fields of radiation medicine.

The sub-specialties of blood, nuclear medicine and medical imaging, and nuclear epidemiology offered in the IRM curriculum have been recognized as key areas of specialization in internal medicine by the Ministry of Education since 2003. IRM’s affiliations include the Radiation Hygiene Society of China, the editorial office of The International Journal of Radiation Medicine and Nuclear Medicine, and the Popular Education Center of Nuclear Science for Teenagers in Tianjin.

The institute promotes vigorous research in radiation and nuclear medicine including: screening new radioprotective and radiosensitive agents, investigating physical and biological dosimetry, exploring genes and proteins involved in the response to radiation damage, studying protocols for treating intestinal dysbacteriosis following acute radiation injury, and exploring new nanomaterials for use in nuclear imaging. Over the past five decades, IRM has successfully carried out numerous medical emergency rescue missions in international and domestic radiation accidents. In 1986, our independently developed proprietary radioprotectors were used for the rescue of irradiated workers in the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Russia. IRM emphasizes its role as the “National Scientific Team” in radiation protection and rescue, and actively promotes regional scientific projects. IRM has commercialized important technology innovations, and products such as nanomaterials for radioprotection, hydrogen-rich water, and biological dosimetry for use in industry and by practitioners of radiation medicine.

IRM has been recognized both nationally and internationally for its outstanding achievements and its distinguished research. To date, it has received 15 national awards, more than 300 awards from Chinese governmental ministries and provinces, and over 400 scientific and technical prizes and awards for its work. IRM strives to rank amongst the best institutes in radiation research and rescue, both nationally and globally.