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    IBRO-APRC reinforces hands-on research experience in Japan

    IBRO Asia Pacific Regional Committee (APRC) Exchange Fellowship awardee, Dr. Mahesh Bekal, from the Kanachur Institute of Medical Sciences in Mangalore, India, spent 6 months with his supervisor, Dr. Takashi Moritake, at the University of Occupational and Environmental Health in Kitakyushu, Japan, from August 2017 to February 2018. He pursued this exchange in order to work on his particular research focus, establishing parameters for the indication of delayed effects of low doses of radiation on cognition.

    Under the supervision of Dr. Moritake, he learned important new techniques including:

    * Analysis of oxidative stress using the state of the art ESR techniques

    * Cell culture techniques and analysis of biomolecular markers like gammaH2AX gene for radiation-induced cellular damage

    Dr. Bekal was also able to attend the 3rd International Conference on Radiological Science and Technology in Hiroshima, Japan, and the 8th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Radiation Neurobiology in Tsukuba, Japan. At the second meeting, he presented his paper entitled, “Early-Delayed Effects of Radiation on Cognition.” The presentation was positively received and stimulated much discussion by the attending audience. 

    As a result of the grant and his time in Japan, Dr. Bekal has developed a strong relationship with his host institute. He elaborated:

    “Working in Dr. Moritake’s lab has allowed me to understand radiation-induced brain injury with a new perspective. In his lab, I was able to study the effects of different doses of radiation with respect to different time periods. Also, I was able to study not just the behavioral changes but also the changes in the body’s oxidative stress. The experiments so far under Dr. Moritake’s mentorship has given me a new view on the changes that may exist between individuals and how this may differ in the experimental setup. The obtained results motivated us to further study the differences in the cognitive ability of the individual subjects and to co-relate them with the antioxidant capacity and many biochemical and molecular markers for radiation-induced brain injury. In the long run, this may help in personalizing the radiation therapy for brain tumors.”

    There is currently a manuscript under preparation for a publication resulting from the work that Dr. Bekal completed with the help of this grant. IBRO was pleased to support him in gaining hands-on research experience and training in a laboratory with extensive experience in the fields of radiation biology and neuroscience. We look forward to hearing about his continued research success in the future.