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NASA Selects 26 Space Biology Research Proposals
August 21, 2014

[image-69]NASA's Space Biology Program will fund 26 proposals to investigate how microbes, cells, plants and animals respond to changes in gravity. The research will be conducted aboard the International Space Station.

The research will help uncover new basic knowledge that other NASA researchers and engineers can use to solve problems confronting human exploration of space or that could lead to new biological tools or applications on Earth. Proposals were in response to the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) NHH14ZTT001N, "Spaceflight Research Opportunities in Space Biology."

The selected proposals come from 17 institutions in nine states and include 16 principal investigators who will be receiving their first Space Biology grant award. When fully implemented, the grants are worth a total of about $12.6 million during a one- to three-year period.

The research will apply 21st-century genetics theories and new tools to study RNA and DNA. The objective is to learn how these building blocks of life regulate and sustain normal health, repair injuries and regulate growth, metabolism, reproduction and development during adaptation to microgravity.

The space station will be used as a platform to study the behavior and evolution of microbes and evaluate the effects of long-term spaceflight on additional organisms such as parasitic wasps and the microorganisms known as water bears. Investigators also will study mouse physiology, cardiac function, reproductive health, neurobiology, ocular health and immunology.

  • Dr. Janice Pluth, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – Space Adaptation Effects On Immune System Impacts Reproductive Function And Mammary Gland Development Across Generations
  • Dr. Eduardo Almeida, NASA Ames Research Center – The Role Of P21/CDKN1a Pathway In Microgravity-Induced Bone Tissue Regenerative Arrest - A Spaceflight Study Of Transgenic P21/CDKN1a Null Mice In Microgravity
  • Dr. Elizabeth Blaber, NASA Ames Research Center – Osteogenic Differentiation Of Somatic Stem Cells In Space: A Study Investigating The Role Of CDKN1a/P21 On Mesenchymal Stem Cell Proliferation, Differentiation, And Regeneration In Microgravity
  • Dr. Craig Everroad, NASA Ames Research Center – Experimental Evolution Of Bacillus Subtilis Populations In Space; Mutation, Selection And Population Dynamics
  • Dr. Ruth Globus, NASA Ames Research Center – Free Radical Theory Of Aging In Space
  • Dr. John Hogan, NASA Ames Research Center – Investigating The Physiology And Fitness Of An Exoelectrogenic Microorganism Under Microgravity Conditions
  • Dr. Xiao Wen Mao, Loma Linda University – Space Flight Environment Induces Remodeling Of Vascular Network And  Glia-Vascular Communication In Mouse Retina
  • Dr. Araceli Espinosa, University of California, Los Angeles – The Impact Of Real Microgravity On The Proliferation Of Human Neural Stem Cells And Derived-Oligodendrocytes
  • Prof. Clay Wang, University of Southern California - Influence Of Microgravity On The Production Of Aspergillus Secondary Metabolites (IMPAS) - A Novel Drug Discovery Approach With Potential Benefits To Astronauts' Health
  • Dr. Michael Delp, University of Florida - Effects Of Spaceflight On Ocular Oxidative Stress And The Blood-Retinal Barrier
  • Dr. Robert Ferl, University of Florida - Early Stage Plant Adaptation To Spaceflight - Molecular Responses Of Arabidopsis To The Transition From Terrestrial Environment To Space
  • Dr. Anna-Lisa Paul, University of Florida - Epigenetic Change In Arabidopsis thaliana In Response To Spaceflight - Differential Cytosine DNA Methylation Of Plants On The ISS
  • Dr. Wayne Nicholson, University of Florida - Global Transcriptome Profiling To Identify Cellular Stress Mechanisms Responsible For Spaceflight-Induced Antibiotic Resistance
  • Dr. Stephen Chapes, Kansas State University - Collection Of Immune/Stress-Related Tissues From Mice Flown On ISS
  • Dr. Joseph Tash, University of Kansas Medical Center - Female Reproductive Health: Space Flight Induced Ovarian And Estrogen Signaling Dysfunction, Adaptation, And Recovery
  • Prof. Bruce Hammer, University of Minnesota - Study Of Mammalian Pluripotent Stem Cells In Microgravity
  • Dr. Sheila Nielsen-Preiss, Montana State University - Characterizing The Effects Of Spaceflight On The Candida albicans Adaptation Response
  • Dr. Thomas Boothby, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Using Water Bears To Identify Biological Countermeasures To Stress During Multigenerational Spaceflight
  • Dr. Imara Perera, North Carolina State University - Transcriptional And Post Transcriptional Regulation Of Seedling Development In Microgravity
  • Dr. Jeffrey Willey, Wake Forest University - School of Medicine Exercise Countermeasures For Knee And Hip Joint Degradation During Spaceflight
  • Dr. Shubha Govind, The City College of CUNY - Does Spaceflight Alter The Virulence Of A Natural Parasite Of Drosophila?
  • Dr. Robert Robbins, Texas Medical Center - Vascular Health In Space:  Micrornas In Microgravity
  • Prof. David Zawieja, Texas A&M Health Science Center - Effects Of Microgravity On Lymphatic Proliferation And Transport Efficiency In The Gastrointestinal System Of C57/BL6 Mice
  • Prof. David Zawieja, Texas A&M Health Science Center - Tissue Sharing (B7): Effects Of Microgravity Adaptations On Cephalic Lymphatic Function And Associated Edema Development And Immune Dysfunction
  • Dr. Simon Gilroy, University of Wisconsin-Madison - Spaceflight-Induced Hypoxic/ROS Signaling
  • Dr. Patrick Masson, University of Wisconsin-Madison - Using Brachypodium distachyon To Investigate Monocot Plant Adaptation To Spaceflight
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In the International Space Station's Harmony node, NASA astronaut Steve Swanson, Expedition 40 commander, harvests a crop of red romaine lettuce plants June 10 that were grown from seed inside the station's Veggie facility, a low-cost plant growth chamber that uses a flat-panel light bank for plant growth and crew observation.
NASA astronaut Steve Swanson, Expedition 40 commander, harvests a crop of red romaine lettuce plants that were grown from seed inside the station's Veggie facility, a low-cost plant growth chamber that uses a flat-panel light bank for plant growth and crew observation.
Image Credit: 
NASA/Alex Gerst
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Page Last Updated: August 22nd, 2014
Page Editor: Sarah Loff