UKHSA provides a specialist Chromosome Dosimetry Service to evaluate people known or suspected of being overexposed to ionising radiation. The specialist staff have extensive and long-standing experience, having provided biological dosimetry advice and services to thousands of customers representing all the major industry sectors as well as to users in the fields of education, research and medicine.

Ionising radiation can cause direct or indirect damage to DNA, which leads to a complex chain of responses, including activation of DNA damage signalling and repair proteins. Depending on the amount and complexity of damage, chromosome breaks can be repaired or mis-repaired. Mis-repair can lead to chromosome aberrations such as dicentrics (chromosome with two centromeres) or translocations (transfer of DNA material from one chromosome to another).

Members of the UKHSA Cytogenetics Group are internationally recognised as leading experts in research to identify, develop and validate biomarkers of radiation exposure. These can be used to provide an indication of radiation dose received by individuals in routine cases of suspected overexposure as well as for triage of large numbers of suspected exposed individuals in a radiation emergency. This work feeds directly into our Chromosomal Dosimetry Service.

CDS staff have published prolifically, with over 400 papers in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Further information

Visit the PHE Chromosomal Dosimetry Services pages to find out more about our core scientific research activities, networking and opportunities for collaboration.

Visit the PHE Chromosomal Dosimetry Services pages


Scoring rings in the cell fusion-induced premature chromosome condensation (PCC) assay for high dose radiation exposure estimation after gamma ray exposure. Sun M1, Moquet J1, Barnard S1, Lloyd D1, Ainsbury E1. Int J Radiat Biol. 2019 May 29:1-26. doi: 10.1080/09553002.2019.1625465.

BIODOSIMETRY AND BIODOSIMETRY NETWORKS FOR MANAGING RADIATION EMERGENCY. Kulka U, Wojcik A, Di Giorgio M, Wilkins R, Suto Y, Jang S, Quing-Jie L, Jiaxiang L, Ainsbury E, Woda C, Roy L, Li C, Lloyd D, Carr Z. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2018 Nov 13. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncy137. [Epub ahead of print].

Dotting the eyes: mouse strain dependency of the lens epithelium to low dose radiation-induced DNA damage. Barnard SGR, Moquet J, Lloyd S, Ellender M, Ainsbury EA, Quinlan RA. Int J Radiat Biol. 2018 Oct 25:1-9. doi: 10.1080/09553002.2018.1532609.

J Moquet, M Higueras, E Donovan, S Boyle, S Barnard, C Bricknell, M Sun, L Gothard, G O'Brian, L Cruz-Garcia, C Badie, E Ainsbury and N Somaiah, 2018. Dicentric dose estimates for patients undergoing radiotherapy in the RTGene study to assess blood dosimetric models and the new Bayesian method for gradient exposure. Radiation Research, in press.

The impact of iodinated contrast media on intravascular and extravascular absorbed doses in X-ray imaging: A microdosimetric analysis. Harbron RW, Ainsbury EA, Bouffler SD, Tanner RJ, Pearce MS, Eakins JS. Phys Med. 2018 Feb;46:140-147. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmp.2018.02.001.

Quantities for assessing high doses to the body: a short review of the current status. Eakins JS, Ainsbury EA. J Radiol Prot. 2018 Jun;38(2):731-742. doi: 10.1088/1361-6498/aabffe. Epub 2018 Apr 25.

Quantities for assessing high photon doses to the body: a calculational approach. Eakins JS, Ainsbury EA. J Radiol Prot. 2018 Jun;38(2):743-762. doi: 10.1088/1361-6498/aabffc. Epub 2018 Apr 25.

An exact goodness-of-fit test based on the occupancy problems to study zero-inflation and zero-deflation in biological dosimetry data. Amanda Fernández-Fontelo, Pedro Puig, Elizabeth A. Ainsbury and Manuel Higueras. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2018 Jun 1;179(4):317-326. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncx285.

Uncertainty on radiation doses estimated by biological and retrospective physical methods. Ainsbury EA, Samaga D, Della Monaca S, Marrale M, Bassinet C, Burbidge CI, Correcher V, Discher M, Eakins J, Fattibene P, Güçlü I, Higueras M, Lund E, Maltar-Strmecki N, McKeever S, Rääf CL, Sholom S, Veronese I, Wieser A, Woda C, Trompier F. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2018 Mar 1;178(4):382-404. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncx125.

Chromosome analysis in a case of a plutonium contaminated wound. Tawn EJ, Curwen GB, Riddell AE, Lloyd DC, Ainsbury EA. J Radiol Prot. 2017 Apr 18;37(2):N13-N19. doi: 10.1088/1361-6498/aa595c.

Guidance on radiation dose limits for the lens of the eye: overview of the recommendations in NCRP Commentary No. 26. Dauer LT, Ainsbury EA, Dynlacht J, Hoel D, Klein BE, Mayer D, Prescott CR, Thornton RH, Vano E, Woloschak GE, Flannery CM, Goldstein LE, Hamada N, Tran PK, Grissom MP, Blakely EA. Int J Radiat Biol. 2017 Apr 3:1-9. doi: 10.1080/09553002.2017.1304669.

Networking in biological and EPR/OSL dosimetry: the European RENEB platform for emergency preparedness and research. IJRB 93: 1, and publications therein.

Genotoxic effects of high dose rate X-ray and low dose rate gamma radiation in ApcMin/+ mice. Graupner A, Eide DM, Brede DA, Ellender M, Lindbo Hansen E, Oughton DH, Bouffler SD, Brunborg G, Olsen AK. Environ Mol Mutagen. 2017 Oct;58(8):560-569. doi: 10.1002/em.22121.

PHE-CRCE-025: doses in radiation accidents investigated by chromosomal aberration analysis XXV: review of cases investigated, 2006-2015. M Sun, J E Moquet, S Barnard, D C Lloyd, K Rothkamm and EA Ainsbury, 2016. PHE-CRCE-025.

Ionizing radiation induced cataracts: Recent biological and mechanistic developments and perspectives for future research. Ainsbury EA, Barnard S, Bright S, Dalke C, Jarrin M, Kunze S, Tanner R, Dynlacht JR, Quinlan RA, Graw J, Kadhim M, Hamada N. Mutat Res. 2016 770(Pt B):238-261. doi: 10.1016/j.mrrev.2016.07.010. Epub 2016 Jul 29.

DNA damage foci: Meaning and significance.Rothkamm K, Barnard S, Moquet J, Ellender M, Rana Z, Burdak-Rothkamm S. Environ Mol Mutagen. 2015 Jul;56(6):491-504. doi: 10.1002/em.21944. Epub 2015 Mar 12. Review.