Advancing Radiobiology Technology (ART)



Colin Whyte (University of Strathclyde), Ken Long (Oxford Uni.), Mark Leake (York), Richard Amos (UCL), Tim Greenshaw (University of Liverpool)

The Biological Physics, Medical Physics, High Energy Particle Physics, and Particle and Beams Groups of the Institute of Physics have come together to organise a meeting to discuss the novel techniques required to elucidate the mechanisms that determine the impact of ionising radiation on tissue.  Such techniques have the potential to significantly impact clinical practice in particle beam therapy, synergising interdisciplinary integration in the Physics of Life and wider collaborations in the U.K. such as through PoLNET to build bridges between physical and life scientists and biomedicine. 

Recently, UKRI provided seed-corn funding for the development of LhARA, the Laser-hybrid Accelerator for Radiobiological Applications, to serve the Ion Therapy Research Facility (ITRF).  The LhARA collaboration’s long-term vision is to transform the clinical practice of proton- and ion-beam therapy (IBT) by creating a fully automated, highly flexible system to harness the unique properties of laser-driven ion beams.

LhARA will be a uniquely flexible proton/ion-beam facility dedicated to the systematic study of radiation biology.  The laser-driven source will allow protons and ions to be delivered in FLASH and mini/micro beams with a flexible time structure up to a maximum repetition rate of 10 Hz.  The exploitation of the LhARA beams requires the development of novel techniques capable of interrogating chemical and biological processes on short, < 0.1 s, timescales.  Full exploitation of the facility requires a range of developments from automated sample handling to fast feedback from the experimental end stations to the accelerator.  This requires that advances in a variety of branches of physics be harnessed. 

The joint meeting will be held at the Institute of Physics in London and will receive presentations on and promote discussion of the challenges presented by LhARA and other projects aimed at the development of transformational biomedical capability.

Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4


[IoP site:]

    • 10:00 AM 10:05 AM
      Convener: Ken Long (Imperial College London/STFC)
    • 10:05 AM 11:20 AM
      Radiation biology and biophysics
      Convener: Prof. Mark Leake (York)
      • 10:05 AM
        Probing extreme high dose-rate radiobiology with laser-based approaches 20m
        Speaker: Prof. Kevin Prise (Queens University of Belfast)
      • 10:25 AM
        Hadron Therapy for the UK 20m
        Speaker: Prof. Amato Giacca (Oxford/Stanford)
      • 10:45 AM
        Investigating the radiobiology of protons with increasing LET in head and neck tumour models 20m
        Speaker: Jason Parsons (University of Birmingham)
      • 11:05 AM
        Discussion 15m
    • 11:20 AM 11:30 AM
    • 11:30 AM 12:45 PM
      Novel accelerator systems
      Convener: Colin Whyte (University of Strathclyde)
    • 12:45 PM 1:30 PM
    • 1:30 PM 2:45 PM
      Novel instrumentation & computing
      Convener: Tim Greenshaw (University of Liverpool)
    • 2:45 PM 3:00 PM
    • 3:00 PM 4:15 PM
      Biomedical and clinical impact
      Convener: Prof. Richard Amos (UCL)
      • 3:00 PM
        Exploration of distinct spatiotemporal dose distributions at LhARA 20m
        Speaker: Prof. Yolanda Prezado (CNRS Institut Curie)
      • 3:20 PM
        Designing a radiobiology research facility 20m
        Speaker: Prof. Karen Kirkby (Manchester)
      • 3:40 PM
        A context for the clinical use of heavy ion therapy 20m
        Speaker: Prof. Adrian Crellin (Leeds)
      • 4:00 PM
        Discussion 15m
    • 4:15 PM 5:00 PM
      Convener: Ken Long (Imperial College London/STFC)
    • 5:00 PM 6:00 PM
      Networking reception