The department was established in 1924. The first head of the department was Abram Slutskin, a well-known scientist in the field of radiophysics graduated in Kharkiv University in 1916. In 1924, A.O. Slutskin created the world’s first magnetron, which was used to obtain the shortest electromagnetic waves at that time, 7 cm long. A sector for the study of electromagnetic oscillations was established at Kharkiv University, which later became the leading department of the Ukrainian Institute of Physics and Technology (1928). For the successes achieved in 1948. prof. A.O. Slutskin was elected a full member of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine.
From 1938 to 1953 the department was headed by prof. Olexander Usikov. Under the leadership of prof. O.Ya. Usykov it is made significant progress in the design of electronic devices for use in medical practice. In 1955 prof. O.Ya. Usykov headed the Institute of Radiophysics and Electronics created with his active participation. In 1964 prof. O.Ya. Usykov was elected a full member of the NAS of Ukraine.
From 1954 to 1968 the department was headed by Assoc. prof. Olexander Maidanov. The main direction of scientific work of the department in this period is the study of the influence of physical and biological factors on the human body.
From 1968 to 1976 under the leadership of the head Olena Adolf two research laboratories were established at the department – radioisotope and radiospectroscopy, and a large cycle of work began to study the effect of stress on the synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids in experimental animals.
From 1976 to 1996 the department was headed by prof. Vladimir Pakhomov. Using the capabilities of the radioisotope laboratory, the department took an active part in studying the influence of various artificial conditions (adrenaline necrosis, experimental heart attack, hypothermia, toxic effects) on the processes of biosynthesis in the cells of the most important organs of experimental animals. In the 80’s the department began a fruitful scientific cooperation with the Department of Radiation Diagnostics, Radiation Therapy and Radiation Medicine of the Kharkiv Medical Institute in order to improve the methods of radionuclide diagnostics.
From 1996 to 2021 the department was headed by Doctor of Biology, Professor, Honored Professor of KhNMU Volodymyr Knigavko. Since 2021, the acting head of the department is Olga Zaitseva – Doctor of Biology, Ph.D., Honored Professor of KhNMU, member of the Ukrainian Ecological Academy of Sciences, member of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Continuing the glorious scientific traditions, the department continues research in radiobiology, aimed at creating mathematical models of oxygen and glucose diffusion in malignant tumors and the consumption of these metabolites by tumor cells, as well as mathematical modeling of carcinogenesis.