PhD ceremony: Ms. H.M. Dang, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Thesis: Particle induced strand breakage in plasmid DNA
Promotor(s): prof. R. Hoekstra
Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Ionizing radiation affects our daily life, for example in the form of cosmic rays, environmental radiation or during cancer therapy treatments. Different kinds of radiation behave different when they interact with matter, and in particular with biological cells. Classical radiation therapy for decades relied on the use of energetic photons or electrons for controlled cell-killing. In recent years, alternative treatments based on fast protons or heavy ions have proven their advantage for particular types of tumors. One of the main differences between the various types of radiation is how the particle energy is deposited as a function of depth. Ions have a very special depth distribution of the deposited dose, peaking at the end of the particle's track. At this Bragg peak, the relative biological effectiveness is highest i.e. the damage is maximum.
When ionizing radiation crosses a living cell, direct ionization and fragmentation of biologically relevant molecules such as DNA occurs but also indirect DNA damage due to i.e. OH radicals stemming from water radiolysis. DNA damage can be in the form of single strand breaks, double strand breaks or more complex lesions which are very difficult to repair.
In this thesis, interactions of heavy ions and protons with plasmid DNA were explored for kinetic energies corresponding to extreme regions along the Bragg-curve. Both dry plasmids and plasmids in aqueous solution were studied to investigate the relevance of direct effects. The experimental results indicate that for a given dose, at the Bragg peak DNA damage is qualitatively most severe.
Three researchers of the Faculty of Science and Engineering have been awarded an ENW-XS grant by the Dutch Research Council (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijke Onderzoek, NWO): Prof. A.I. Guskov the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and...
Bayu Jayawardhana has been appointed scientific director of DISC, the interuniversity research institute and graduate school that unites all university groups in the Netherlands that are active in systems and control theory and engineering. The...
Researchers Clemens Mayer and Danny Incarnato of the University of Groningen have been awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant.
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