QUB hosts seminar on Laser-hybrid Accelerators for Radiobiological applications (LhARA)
LhARA leads discuss UK-wide collaboration developing novel accelerators for radiobiology with QUB researchers and patients to share progress and foster collaboration.
On a beautifully sunny Wednesday at the end of August, Dr. Charlotte Palmer and the Centre for Light Matter Interactions hosted a visit from Prof. Ken Long (Imperial College London/STFC), who was joined virtually by his collaborator Prof. Amato Giaccia (Oxford University) to share an update on a UK-wide project to develop the Laser-hybrid Accelerators for Radiobiological applications (LhARA). The visitors delivered a wonderful hybrid seminar to members of the School, highlighting the medical questions associated with particle-based radiation therapy, the potential advantages, the effect of high-dose-rate treatments and the challenges associated with particle-accelerator development.
Novel accelerator development and high-dose rate radiobiology have been key research themes within the Centre for Light Matter Interactions and are supported by strong collaborations with the School of Medicine through Prof. Kevin Prise, amongst others. Following the seminar, the visitors met with members of the Northern Ireland Cancer Research Consumer Forum (NICRCF) including their chair, Aidan McCormick , for a discussion about the LhARA project and long-term goals.
The project has strong public-patient-involvement with patients guiding key project decisions as members of the board, and Prof. Long is keen to build involvement to include local perspectives from all across the UK. It was a very lively and interesting discussion followed by an invitation for researchers to join the NICRCF in September to share more details on the accelerator development on-going within the School and the ways in which patients and carers can be involved in and support this work.