About the Event: For decades now, the use of ionizing radiation technologies in medicine has been to treat diseases and save lives. There is, however, an association of potential risk if the sealed radioactive source in such a device originates from a nuclide such as cobalt-60 and is handled maliciously. Deeply embedded human health challenges in treating diseases such as cancer in challenging environments also increase the complexity of this risk. While ionizing radiation technologies are available in multiple modalities, the non-source-based radiation technology tends to face greater difficulties with adoption in developing countries due to barriers associated with operation. Given these challenges, cancer patients in the developing world may only have access to one treatment modality in the form of a radioactive-isotope-based medical device that is easy to operate but poses as a potential security risk and clinically less customizable for treatment. As such, there is a growing intersection between security and health due to the variability of two major types of ionizing radiation technologies used for cancer treatment. While both technology modalities are used widely, there are known disparities in low-resource environments regarding the management and use of source-based and non-source-based technologies, requiring further investigation and problem-solving.
About the Speaker: Pallabi M. Chakrabarti is a staff member at the Sandia National Laboratories Livermore, California campus and supports the International Nuclear/Radiological Security program office. She currently coordinates activities related to the security of radioactive materials across a diverse set of partners including international and domestic government officials, other US government laboratories, NGOs, industry, and academia. Through her role, Pallabi also provides recommendations and develops innovative methods and approaches to enhancing awareness of radioactive material security.
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