U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

ORNL Principal Investigator Featured in The Scientist
Published: March 07, 2005
Posted: March 29, 2005

Dr. Tuan Vo-Dinh, Corporate Fellow at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Life Sciences Division, and a very recent recipient of a Department of Energy/Office of Biological and Environmental Research Low Dose Radiation Research Program grant, is currently featured in an article by Bennett Daviss, in The Scientist (Vol 19, Issue 4, #27, Feb. 28, 2005; [website]). Recently this team became the first to witness the onset of apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in real time. His research group has perfected the insertion of fiber-optic probes into living cells to watch cellular processes unfold. Biological probes, such as antibody molecules, are mounted on the tip of small fibers and pushed through a cell's outer membrane. When the probe encounters its target it triggers a detectable fluorescence signal. This system has been used to detect DNA adducts following exposure to the carcinogenic pollutant benzo(a)pyrene. This exciting technology will now be adapted to monitor reactive oxygen species produced in live cells in response to low doses of ionizing radiation. Dr. Vo-Dinh has also recently been named Associate Editor of the scientific journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety.

Contact: Noelle Metting, SC-72, (301) 903-8309
Topic Areas:

  • Cross-Cutting: Lectures, Awards, and Recognition
  • Legacy: Low Dose Radiation, Radiobiology

Division: SC-23.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER
      (formerly SC-72 Life Sciences Division, OBER)


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