The AFRRI mission is to preserve and protect the health and performance of U.S. military personnel through research and training that advances understanding of the effects of ionizing radiation. This mission includes education and training to maintain a pool of qualified radiation biologists; and basic and applied research to identify and perform early development of measures to prevent, assess and treat radiation injury. AFRRI research thrusts include medical countermeasures, diagnosis of injury (biodosimetry), low dose/low dose rate/late effects, internalized radionuclides, and combined injury.


In the News

Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute

AFRRI is celebrating its 60th Anniversary in 2021, with a number of events and activities planned throughout the year.  

The 60th Anniversary Awards Ceremony was held on May 10, 2021
at the USO on Naval Support Activity Bethesda



The Medical Radiobiology Advisory Team (MRAT) is a deployable team responsible for providing expert advice to incident commanders and staff during a radiological incident. The MRAT is a two-person team, usually consisting of 1 health physicist and 1 physician, specializing in the health effects of radiation, biodosimetry, and treatment of radiation casualties. The MRAT can be deployed to augment the DTRA CMAT or operate independently, and is available for reachback support to DoD personnel.

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AFRRI Safety Culture Work Environment (SCWE)

AFRRI leadership is committed to establishing and maintaining a safety conscious work environment (SCWE) by providing all AFRRI personnel (Federal civilian, military and contractor) with various mechanisms to raise nuclear safety concerns.  We are promoting SCWE by establishing the Employee Concerns Program (ECP), which is intended to function as an alternative mechanism for AFRRI personnel to raise nuclear safety concerns if and when they choose not to use the normal process of notifying their supervisors and managers.  The documents are provided here (USU/AFRRI employees only).

Finding Solutions

Cellular and Molecular Methodologies

Modern biological methodologies at AFRRI include genomics, proteomics, assays for mRNA, small RNA and protein expression, manipulation of gene expression in specific cell types to investigate mechanistic hypotheses, advanced flow cytometric characterization of cell phenotypes, cellular functional assays, and culture and co-culture of various cell lineages to study injury and recovery processes as well as to elucidate cell-cell signaling mechanisms.

Novel Countermeasures

An important resource for AFRRI’s countermeasure development program has been the supplementing of our internal panel of candidates with compounds or cellular therapies suggested by outside companies or government agencies. A substantial portion of AFRRI’s resources is devoted to screening attractive countermeasure candidates in collaborations with private companies, universities and government agencies.


DOD personnel in MEIR course annually, in locations around the world


participated in the response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster


involved in the response to the anthrax attacks in Washington DC


FDA approvals of medical countermeasures against ARS: Neupogen® (G-CSF) and Neulasta® (pegylated G-CSF)