Director of






Current Research

David Brenner focuses on developing mechanistic models for the effects of ionizing radiation on living systems, both at the chromosomal and the animal (or human) levels. He divides his research time roughly equally between the effects of high doses of ionizing radiation (relating to radiation therapy) and the effects of low doses of radiation (relating to medical, environmental and occupational exposures).

At the chromosomal level, he has focused on the mechanisms of radiation-induced chromosome aberrations, and the potential of chromosome aberrations for use as biomarkers for past exposure to different types of radiations.

In the field of medical imaging, he has focused on the risk / benefit balance of the higher-dose imaging techniques, particularly computed tomography (CT).

In the field of radiotherapy, he has focused on optimizing fractionation schemes for different tumor types, to maximize tumor killing and minimize serious side effects; this includes modeling the mechanisms of radiotherapy-induced second cancers, with the goal of reducing second cancer risks.

Environmentally, he has focused on the biological effects of radon, both at the chromosomal and the human levels.

Brenner is the author of two books on radiation for the lay person: Making the Radiation Therapy Decision and Radon, Risk and Remedy. Additionally, he has published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed scientific literature. He was the recipient of the 1991 Radiation Research Society Annual Research Award, and the 1992 National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements Award for Radiation Protection in Medicine.

As well as being Director of the Center for Radiological Research, Brenner is the Director of the Radiological Research Accelerator Facility and Principal Investigator of the Center for High-Throughput Minimally-Invasive Radiation Biodosimetry.

His insights are often sought for radiological events, such as the recent event in Fukushima Japan. He was featured in the Science Times section of the New York Times recently.