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Canadian Organization on Health Effects from Radiation Exposure

Status: active


The Canadian Organization on Health Effects from Radiation Exposure (COHERE) aims to improve understanding of the potential health impacts from exposure to low doses of radiation. COHERE is a joint initiative between Health Canada and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).


  1. Better align Health Canada’s and the CNSC's radiation science research priorities to focus and leverage resources
  2. Maintain and enhance expertise in radiobiology and epidemiology within the Government of Canada
  3. Provide an informed and consistent federal message to the public and stakeholders on matters involving low dose/dose-rate ionizing radiation
  4. Strengthen Canada’s contribution towards international efforts on the assessment of ionizing radiation doses and effects for application in international recommendations, Canadian regulations and national guidance

Strategic research agenda

The strategic research agenda identifies the drivers for research being conducted under the initiative, including its five core themes, research lines, priority areas for research and anticipated benefits


  • Canadian Uranium Workers Study
  • International Pooled Analysis of Uranium Workers (iPAUW)
    • Cohort profile: four early uranium processing facilities in the US and Canada (International Journal of Radiation Biology)
  • Radiation-induced thyroid cancer and non-malignant disease: A systematic review
  • Development of an adverse outcome pathway (AOP) relevant to health outcomes from space travel
  • International horizon-style exercise: Advancing the use of the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) framework in radiation protection
  • Linkage of the National Dose Registry to mortality (1950–2018) and cancer incidence (1969–2018) outcomes – Update and data validation
  • The Canadian Fluoroscopy Cohort Study (CFCS): Lifespan mortality (1950–2017) and cancer incidence (1969–2017) follow-up
  • Verification and correction of early Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) doses in the National Dose Registry (NDR) and updated mortality and cancer incidence analysis of Canadian nuclear energy workers
  • Development of automated biologically based methods for measuring human radiation exposure
  • Monte Carlo modelling of radiation interactions with biological systems
  • Analysis of histological subtypes of incident lung cancer among Eldorado Uranium Workers
  • Occupational exposure to radon and the risk of lung cancer: Updated findings from the Newfoundland Fluorspar Miner’s Cohort
  • Canadian Fluoroscopy Updated Cohort: Updated mortality and cancer incidence linkage, and validation of the updated mortality and cancer linkage of the National Dose Registry
  • Exploring the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) framework in radiation risk assessment
  • Investigation of biomarkers of radiation exposure in radon cohorts
  • Exploring the application of genomics and Raman spectroscopy in the area of risk assessment
  • Identifying transcriptional point of departures using benchmark dose modeling for various tissues/bio-fluids exposed to radiation
  • Health effects of chronic exposure to natural uranium in drinking water
  • A better understanding of radon dosimetry through indoor aerosol characterization and computational simulation
  • Development of an adverse outcome pathway (AOP) relevant to uranium-induced kidney toxicity
  • Systematic review on how biological sex modifies the risk of ionizing radiation-induced health effects
  • Development of an adverse outcome pathway relevant to health outcomes from space travel

The COHERE team

Lindsay Beaton, PhD

Expertise: Radiation Biology, Radiation Protection, Biodosimetry, Imaging Flow Cytometry, Human Health Risk Assessment, High-Throughput Methodologies for Biodosimetry

Julie J. Burtt, MSc, PhD Candidate

Expertise: Radiation Biology, Risk Assessment, Nuclear Safety, Radiation Protection, Human Health Risk Assessment, Cell Biology, Biological Dosimetry, Cytokinesis-Block Micronucleus Assay, Risk Communication

Vinita Chauhan, PhD

Expertise: Radiation Biology, Biochemistry, Genomics, Molecular Biology, Adverse Outcome Pathways

Rachel Lane, PhD

Expertise: Epidemiology, Radiation Protection, Risk Assessment, Risk Communication, Public Health, Disease Prevention, Health Promotion

Julie Leblanc, PhD

Expertise: Radiobiology, Radiation Protection, Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Developmental Biology, Risk Communication

Debora Quayle, MSc

Expertise: Radiation Protection, Nuclear Emergency Preparedness and Response

Kristi Randhawa, MPH

Expertise: Epidemiology, Public Health, Health Sciences, Risk Assessment, Nuclear Safety, Radiation Protection, Human Health Risk Assessment, Systematic Reviews, Outreach, Risk Communication

Baki Sadi, PhD

Expertise: Radiochemistry, Internal Dosimetry, Cellular Toxicology

Ruth Wilkins, PhD

Expertise: Radiobiology, Biological Dosimetry, Cytogenetics, Cell Biology, Flow Cytometry

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