22.55J | Fall 2004 | Graduate

Principles of Radiation Interactions


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


The central theme of this course is the interaction of radiation with biological material. The course is intended to provide a broad understanding of how different types of radiation deposit energy, including the creation and behavior of secondary radiations; of how radiation affects cells and why the different types of radiation have very different biological effects. Topics will include: the effects of radiation on biological systems including DNA damage; in vitro cell survival models; and in vivo mammalian systems. The course covers radiation therapy, radiation syndromes in humans and carcinogenesis. Environmental radiation sources on earth and in space, and aspects of radiation protection are also discussed. Examples from the current literature will be used to supplement lecture material.


There will be about 6 problem sets over the course of the semester. There will be two exams. All students are required to write a term paper on a topic related to the subjects covered in this course. A list of possible topics will be provided, but students are free to choose their own topic. All students are required to give an oral presentation on their term paper topic. There will be no final exam.

Grading will be divided as follows:

Problem Sets 30%
Exams 40%
Term Paper and Presentation 30%


Hall, Eric J. Radiobiology for the Radiologist. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2000. ISBN: 0781726429.

Additional References

Turner, J. E. Atoms, Radiation, and Radiation Protection. 2nd ed. New York: J. Wiley, 1995. ISBN: 9780471595816.

Tubiana, M., J. Dutreix, and A. Wambersie. Introduction to Radiobiology. London, New York, Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis, 1990. ISBN: 9780850667455.

Alpen, Edward L. Radiation Biophysics. 2nd ed. San Diego: Academic Press, 1998. ISBN: 9780120530854.

Lodish, Berk, Zipursky, Matsudaira, Baltimore, and Darnell. Molecular Cell Biology. 4th ed. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2003. ISBN: 9780716743668.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets
Lecture Notes