The Britten Laboratory studies the impact that radiation and chemotherapy have on neurocognitive function. The major emphasis has been the impact of Space Radiation n executive function is support of NASA's planned mission to Mars. We are now in the process of expanding our scope of work to study the mechanistic basis of both "chemobrain" and "beamobrain"
Through collaborations with other members of the CINID at EVMS and at many other institutes, we are developing state of the art techniques to measure neural network connectivity while rats are under cogntive loading.
Richard A. Britten is a Professor of Radiation Oncology at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), where he finally settled after working in the UK, the USA and Canada. His 30 year career in radiation biology, has been quite varied but the one consistent factor has been an emphasis on particle radiation (fast neutrons, protons, Galactic Cosmic Radiation (GCR)).
Educational Background: In 1987 Prof. Britten (Rich) earned his Ph.D. in Radiotherapy at the University of Leeds (UK), where his thesis focused on developing a new method to identify Cervical Cancer patients who would be unresponsive to radiation treatment. Dr. Britten then moved to the CRC Clatterbridge Cyclotron Center, where he established the radiobiological properties of the clinical fast neutron beam. While at Clatterbridge he became interested in optimizing the delivery of chemo-radiation protocols, and started to work on identifying the molecular determinants of cellular sensitivity to radiation and chemotherapy (ovarian and cervical cancer). In 1992, Rich became an Instructor at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas where he continued his research on fast neutron radiobiology, and worked with Dr. David Murray on DSB repair. In 1993, Rich became an Assistant Professor of Oncology at the University of Alberta, Canada, where he continued to develop his program on the molecular determinants of the response of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy. 2001 saw a move to EVMS as an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, with the intention of developing a molecular based chemo/radiation prescription protocol for Head and Neck cancer patients. In 2007 Rich started his highly successful space radiobiology program that focused on the impact of GCR on neurocognition. In 2016, Dr. Britten was promoted to the rank of Full Professor.
Prof. Britten is currently funded by NASA to determine the incidence and mechanistic basis of GCR-induced neurocognitive impairment, the interaction of sleep perturbation and GCR on neurocognitive performance, and is also part of the UC-Irvine NSCOR. His program has now started to investigate the breakdown of neural network functioning after exposure to radiation and chemotherapeutic agents, with a particular focus on pediatric cancer patients.
Prof. Britten has served on numerous grant reviewing panels for NASA, NIAID and CDMP, and has been involved in planning of several international conferences. Prof. Britten also serves as a subject matter expert for several NASA initiative and is on the Governing Council of his professional society (The Radiation Research Society).
Outside of work, Rich is a father of five children and a grandfather to three. Outside of his love for his family, his big passion is rugby, having played and coached the game for over 40 years.
- Changes in the neuroproteome associated with HZE-induced impairment of cognition
- Impact of inflight stress and sleep disturbances on brain function, neural communication and inflammation
- Impact of sleep deprivation of HZE-induced neurocognitive impairment
- Mechanisms underlying charged particle-induced disruption of CNS function
2020Altered Cognitive Flexibility and Synaptic Plasticity in the Rat Prefrontal Cortex after Exposure to Low (≤15 cGy) Doses of <sup>28</sup>Si Radiation.. RADIATION RESEARCH. 193:223-235.
2019Sleep fragmentation exacerbates executive function impairments induced by protracted low dose rate neutron exposure. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RADIATION BIOLOGY.
2018Exposure to <= 15 cGy of 600 MeV/n Fe-56 Particles Impairs Rule Acquisition but not Long-Term Memory in the Attentional Set-Shifting Assay. RADIATION RESEARCH. 190:565-575.
2018Impaired Attentional Set- Shifting Performance after Exposure to 5 cGy of 600 MeV/n Si-28 Particles. RADIATION RESEARCH. 189:273-282.
2018Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of the Hippocampus of Rats with GCR-Induced Spatial Memory Impairment. RADIATION RESEARCH. 189:136-145.
2017Changes in the Hippocampal Proteome Associated with Spatial Memory Impairment after Exposure to Low (20 cGy) Doses of 1 GeV/ n Fe-56 Radiation. RADIATION RESEARCH. 187:287-297.
2017Spatial Memory Performance of Socially Mature Wistar Rats is Impaired after Exposure to Low (5 cGy) Doses of 1 GeV/n Ti-48 Particles. RADIATION RESEARCH. 187:60-65.
2016Cosmic radiation exposure and persistent cognitive dysfunction. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. 6.
2016Performance in hippocampus- and PFC-dependent cognitive domains are not concomitantly impaired in rats exposed to 20 cGy of 1 GeV/n Fe-56 particles. LIFE SCIENCES IN SPACE RESEARCH. 10:17-22.
2016Individual variations in dose response for spatial memory learning among outbred wistar rats exposed from 5 to 20 cGy of Fe-56 particles. ENVIRONMENTAL AND MOLECULAR MUTAGENESIS. 57:331-340.
2016Impaired Spatial Memory Performance in Adult Wistar Rats Exposed to Low (5-20 cGy) Doses of 1 GeV/n Fe-56 Particles. RADIATION RESEARCH. 185:332-337.
2016Galactic cosmic ray simulation at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory. LIFE SCIENCES IN SPACE RESEARCH. 8:38-51.
2016Exposure to Mission-Relevant Doses of 1 GeV/n Ti-48 Particles Impairs Attentional Set-Shifting Performance in Retired Breeder Rats. RADIATION RESEARCH. 185:13-19.
2014Exposure to Mission Relevant Doses of 1 GeV/Nucleon Fe-56 Particles Leads to Impairment of Attentional Set-Shifting Performance in Socially Mature Rats. RADIATION RESEARCH. 182:292-298.
2013Variations in the RBE for Cell Killing Along the Depth-Dose Profile of a Modulated Proton Therapy Beam. RADIATION RESEARCH. 179:21-28.
2012Executive Function in Rats is Impaired by Low (20 cGy) Doses of 1 GeV/u Fe-56 Particles. RADIATION RESEARCH. 178:289-294.
2012Low (20 cGy) Doses of 1 GeV/u Fe-56-Particle Radiation Lead to a Persistent Reduction in the Spatial Learning Ability of Rats. RADIATION RESEARCH. 177:146-151.
2011High Serum Levels of DNMT1 and Distant Failure in Head and Neck Cancer. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RADIATION ONCOLOGY BIOLOGY PHYSICS. S530-S530.
2010THE IDENTIFICATION OF SERUM BIOMARKERS OF HIGH-LET RADIATION EXPOSURE AND BIOLOGICAL SEQUELAE. HEALTH PHYSICS. 98:196-203.
2009Proteomic Profile as a Prognostic Factor of Outcome in Patients with Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RADIATION ONCOLOGY BIOLOGY PHYSICS. S402-S403.
2005Identification of reproducible low mass SELDI protein profiles specific to cisplatin resistance in human ovarian cancer cells. ONCOLOGY REPORTS. 14:1323-1330.
2005Mono-energetic brachytherapy sources. MEDICAL PHYSICS. 1958-1958.
- Professor of Radiation Oncology, Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology
- Richard A. Britten, PhD
Recent publications and grants in Researchers@EVMS
- Astronomy & Astrophysics
- Environmental Sciences & Ecology
- Genetics & Heredity
- Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics
- Nuclear Science & Technology
- Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
- Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging
- Science & Technology - Other Topics