The Centre for Health Effects of Radiological and Chemical Agents (CHRC) is a new initiative funded through the NCCF and Brunel University London. The Centre’s aims are to explore the health impact of radiological and chemical agents on military personnel and their families.

Centre for Health Effects of Radiological and Chemical Agents

Establishing the CHRC – © BH Associates 2017

The CHRC was established to meet the need for nuclear test veterans and their families to better understand any genetic and other health consequences of potential exposure to radiological and chemical agents. The initial focus of the Centre is therefore the delivery of multi-disciplinary research for the aged test veteran community and their families. This will be coupled with a plan for making this information accessible for individuals, academics, clinical providers and policy advisors, with a view to sharing knowledge and enhancing wellbeing.

The work on this exciting new project started in September, drawing together an experienced and motivated team of academic, professional and research staff. A number of Ph.D. students have also been recruited, who will not only deliver new research but will be trained to become the future experts in this area.

You are encouraged to visit the newly developed website and to contact the Centre if you have any questions. Currently, the site provides details of the staff and student members, CHRC Governance and current projects. Moving forward, the site will be developed further to become an essential tool for the translation of research findings and a resource for providing educational information.

The members of the external Advisory Board, comprising representatives from the nuclear community and scientific experts in related fields of research, met for the first time at the Advisory Board kick-off meeting on the 31st October 2017.

Members took the opportunity to meet some of the new researchers, discussing their work and areas of interest.

Numerous ideas and offers of support were exchanged, and these are now feeding into current and future plans for the Centre. Overall the day was a great success.

You will be pleased to know that recruitment is underway for the ‘Genetic and cytogenetic study’ after a long period securing all the regulatory approvals required, so if you do receive an invitation via your GP, the Centre would be extremely grateful if you would agree with your family to participate. Please also read the associated ‘Why can’t I volunteer?’ article, which outlines the approved study approach to selecting and recruiting participants. There are other studies the Centre would like you to consider getting involved in and which you can volunteer for. Amy Prescott from Dr Louise Mansfield’s team is undertaking research aimed to improve wellbeing and is currently asking for expressions of interest from veterans, their partners, or their descendants to participate in this study (see advert below). We will announce a similar request for volunteers for the ‘Living with Exposure worry’ project from Professor Mary Gilhooly’s team in the next edition of this magazine.

Read our article on the CHRC Launch Day

Dr. Rhona Anderson
Director, CHRC