The Urals Research Center for Radiation Medicine (URCRM) is a governmental organization subordinated to the Federal Medical-Biological Agency at the Russian Federation Health Ministry. It was established in Chelyabinsk, Southern Urals, in 1955 with the aim to provide health services for the population exposed due to radiation incidents at Mayak PA, and to conduct studies on long-term health effects of radiation exposure. The URCRM consists of 6 research departments: Clinical Physiology Laboratory; Epidemiology Laboratory; Biophysics Laboratory; Department of Environmental Studies; Experimental Department; and Regional Center for the National Radiation-Epidemiology Registry. The Center has a clinical department for 50 beds. Every year 550 patients are admitted to the clinic and out-patient assistance is rendered to over 1,400 people.
The priority research lines currently pursued at the URCRM are:
medical examination and rehabilitation of exposed population in the Urals region;·
comprehensive evaluation of the sanitary-hygienic situation on the t·erritories exposed to
radiation, and non-radiation factors;
exposure dose reconstruction for population of the Southern Urals; studies on long-term impacts of population exposures, including risk assessment for genetic and carcinogenic effects;·
dynamic assessment of health status for exposed people and their offspring; search for biological markers of radiation exposure, exposure doses and late exposure effects (cancer, leukaemia);·
experimental modelling of biological radiation exposure effects in combination with other unfavourable environmental factors;·
development of methods to prevent and minimize late radiation effects;·
creation of databases and banks of medical, dosimetric and radiation-hygienic data.·
The URCRM database of medical and dosimetric data provides informational support to the organization of health services for exposed people and analysis of long-term radiation effects. The information accumulated in the database is used for conducting epidemiological studies of the exposed population (migration, birth rate, death rate and causes of death, genetic effects, etc.) aimed at assessment of risk of effects from chronic radiation exposure at low doses.