Washington State University College of Pharmacy

United States Transuranium & Uranium Registries

1st International Workshop on Sample/Tissue Archiving of Radiobiology, Kyoto, Japan, May 24-25, 2015


2015 STAR meeting attendees

USTUR director, Sergei Tolmachev was invited to give a presentation at the 1st International Workshop on Sample/Tissue Archiving of Radiobiology (STAR) in Kyoto, Japan. His presentation was designed to inform the scientific community about the USTUR: its history, the valuable samples housed at its repository, and recently conducted research. 

National Human Radiobiology Tissue Repository

Tolmachev, S. Y., McComish, S. L.

The National Human Radiobiology Tissue Repository (NHRTR) is a part of the United States Transuranium and Uranium Registries (USTUR). The USTUR is a federal-grant program funded by U.S. Department of Energy and operated by College of Pharmacy at Washington State University. The USTUR studies the biokinetics and internal dosimetry of actinides - such as uranium, thorium, plutonium, and americium - in occupationally exposed individuals who volunteer their bodies (partially or entirely) for scientific use posthumously. A portion of the tissues received by the USTUR is radiochemically analyzed for actinide isotopes. The remaining portion is retained at the NHRTR in frozen or formalin-fixed state for future studies. Currently, the NHRTR holds ~9,000 frozen and formalin-fixed tissue samples from 40 whole- and 92 partial-body USTUR donors, and ~10,000 acid-digested tissue samples (acid solutions). The NHRTR also houses frozen, ashed, dried, and plastic-embedded bone samples from the radium studies carried out by Argonne National Laboratory, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the New Jersey Radium Research Project. The NHRTR tissue materials: frozen, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded, or acid-digested tissues are available to qualified scientists for their research upon request. To qualify for receipt of USTUR/NHRTR samples, researchers must (a) provide a brief summary of the intended use of the samples, (b) sign a confidentiality statement agreeing to protect the identities of subjects; (c) provide a copy of Institutional Review Board for Protection of Human Subject approval, if appropriate. The USTUR authorship of published papers is not a condition for collaboration; however, acknowledgement of the source of the materials is required. Recently, the USTUR/NHRTR archived tissue materials were used by national and international researchers to study (a) elemental bio imaging of actinides and beryllium; (b) microdistribution and long-term retention of plutonium-nitrate in the respiratory tract and its carcinogenic and inflammatory effects; (c) distribution of actinides using synchrotron radiation micro X-ray fluorescence spectrometry; (d) beryllium distribution in the human body.


1. Tolmachev et al., “The US Transuranium and Uranium Registries: forty years’ experience and new directions in the analysis of actinides in human tissues.” Proceedings in Radiochemistry - A Supplement to Radiochimica Acta. 2011; 1(1):173-181. Available at http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/rcpr.2011.1.issue-1/rcpr.2011.0032/rcpr.2011.0032.xml?rskey=VPZolb&result=2.

2. Hare et al., “Elemental bio-imaging of thorium, uranium, and plutonium in tissues from occupationally exposed former nuclear workers.” Anal Chem. 2010; 82 (8):3176-3182

3. Nielsen et al., “Carcinogenic and inflammatory effects of plutonium-nitrate retention in an exposed nuclear worker and beagle dogs.” Int J Radiat Biol. 2014; 90(1):60-70

4. Lariviere et al., “Detection of beryllium in digested autopsy tissues by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry using a high matrix interface configuration.” Anal Bioanal Chem. 2012; 403 (2):409-418.

>>Download the USTUR slide presentation titled, "National Human Radiobiology Tissue Repository" [USTUR-0373-14A].

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