Radiation response specialist has more than 35 years of medical expertise
Nicholas Dainiak has been named director of the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site, or REAC/TS, at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.
A deployable asset of the U.S. Department of Energy, REAC/TS provides 24/7 emergency medical response for incidents involving radiation anywhere in the world, a press release said. REAC/TS also provides direct support for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Emergency Operations and the Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center, or FRMAC.
Adding to its depth of radiation response and consultation capabilities, REAC/TS is uniquely qualified to teach medical personnel, health physicists, first responders, and occupational health professionals about radiation emergency medicine, the release said. REAC/TS also operates an acytogenetic biodosimetry laboratory, one of only two in the U.S., where chromosome aberration analysis is used for ionizing radiation dose assessment.
In his new position, Dainiak will manage and direct the day-to-day operations of REAC/TS, overseeing response and training teams and directing REAC/TS continuing medical education courses. Dainiak will also ensure support to multiple government agencies for regional and national readiness exercises as well as providing counsel nationally and internationally for the medical management of radiation incidents and development of response protocols.
Dainiak previously served as chairman of medicine and clinical professor of medicine at Yale New Haven Health System/Bridgeport Hospital and Yale University School of Medicine, where he managed 17 divisions and more than 300 physicians and medical practitioners. In 2003, Dainiak established the first, state- funded biodosimetry laboratory in the United States. He also organized and has served as the chair of the Connecticut Radiation Response Planning Group. The group developed the State of Connecticut’s radiation response plan for hospitals, which serves as a best-in-class model for states in developing hospital response plans for radiological incidents.
“Dr. Dainiak brings more than 35 years of medical expertise to his new role at REAC/TS,” said Andy Page, director of ORISE. “His clinical and academic leadership at Yale will be highly translatable to his role in directing REAC/TS missions in radiation emergency medicine and training. Dainiak’s hands-on management of the development of radiation response plans for Connecticut will also position him well to partner with REAC/TS’ government agency customers in preparedness initiatives.”
Dainiak received his M.D. from Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Fairfield University. He completed an internal medicine internship and residency at Albany Medical College and a fellowship in Hematology at the Yale University School of Medicine. Dainiak is also a Fellow in the American College of Physicians.
Dainiak has served on the boards of the Caitlin Raymond International Registry of Bone Marrow Donor Banks and has worked with the American Cancer Society. He is also a member of the Connecticut Public Health Preparedness Advisory Committee and has served as a consultant for the World Health Organization, the European Atomic Energy Commission and NASA.
REAC/TS is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education facility managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities for the U.S. Department of Energy with the mission to strengthen the medical response to radiological and nuclear incidents and provide continuing medical education and training. REAC/TS also conducts ongoing research into the biological effects of radiation and provides continuing medical education for healthcare providers.