The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has turned to the University of Nebraska to develop drugs to protect military service members from the effects of radiation exposure.

“It’s an exciting collaboration among the federal government, our state university…and consultants from private pharma who are Nebraska alumni,” said David Berkowitz, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at UNL.

Nebraska has the only University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) entrusted by the military to work on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.

“This research represents the broad capacity of the University of Nebraska and its alumni consultants to tackle potentially hazardous radiation exposures around the world,” said Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Robert Hinson, National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI)’s founding executive director.

The NU project for the Defense Health Agency (DHA), and in collaboration with Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI), has reached a second advancement – potentially awarding nearly $11 million in federal funding over the next five years. NU researchers will look for therapeutics candidates the U.S. military would need to protect troops from radiation in case of exposure, as in a nuclear accident or a nuclear weapons incident.

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