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NASA has selected 43 researchers to receive grants totaling approximately $27 million over four years to conduct biotechnology research on Earth and in space. This research will create knowledge in important areas of biotechnology such as tissue engineering, gene expression and biosensor technology.
Sponsored by NASA's Office of Biological and Physical Research, this research offers investigators the opportunity to take advantage of the low-gravity environment of space and develop experiments for the International Space Station.
Twenty-three of the selected proposals are to conduct research in cellular biotechnology including projects on tissue engineering, gene expression and bioanalytical technologies. Twenty of the selected proposals are to conduct research in macromolecular biotechnology including projects on challenging problems in structural biology, artificial biomembranes and membrane proteins. Fourteen of the selected proposals are for the continuation of work currently being funded by NASA, but the majority (29) represent new research efforts.
NASA received 225 proposals in response to its research announcement in this research area. These proposals were all peer- reviewed by scientific and technical experts from academia, government and industry.
*****Alabama Dr. Daniel C. Carter New Century Pharmaceuticals, Incorporated Huntsville, AL "Neutron Diffraction: Microgravity Applications in Structure-Guided Drug Development" Professor Alexander A. Chernov Universities Space Research Association Huntsville, AL "The Role of Impurities and Convection in Macromolecular Crystal Perfections" Dr. Ewa Ciszak Universities Space Research Association Huntsville, AL "Crystal Structure of Human Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex Facilitated by Microgravity" Dr. Edward H. Snell Universities Space Research Association Huntsville, AL "Cool Crystals -- A Physical and Biochemical Study of Macromolecular Crystal Cryopreservation" Dr. Peter G. Vekilov University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, AL "Physico-Chemical Tools for Rational Optimization of the Growth Conditions of Biological Crystals" *****Arizona Dr. Bruce C. Towe Arizona State University Tempe, AZ "A Microfluidic Bioreporter for Exploratory Probes" *****California Professor Geoffrey A. Chang The Scripps Research Institute La Jolla, CA "Crystallization of Integral Membrane Proteins using Micro-gravity" Dr. Curtis W. Frank Stanford University Stanford, CA "Production and In-Flight Regeneration of Active Biological Membranes" Professor Robert L-Y. Sah University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA "Fabrication and Growth of Engineered Tissues: Articular Cartilage with Biological Functional Stratification" *****Colorado Dr. David W. M. Marr Colorado School of Mines Golden, CO "A Novel Colloidal Microfluidics Platform for Spaceborne Micro Total Analysis Systems" *****Delaware Dr. Robert E. Akins A.I. duPont Hospital for Children Wilmington, DE "Cell:Cell Mediated Assembly of Cardiac Tissue in Microgravity Environments" Dr. Eric W. Kaler University of Delaware Newark, DE "Surfactant Structures Guide Membrane Protein Crystallization" *****District of Columbia Dr. Wu Ma Naval Research Laboratory Washington, DC "Neurogenesis in a Cell-Hydrogel-Bioreactor System -- Forming Neuronal Networks in Microgravity" *****Florida Dr. Jeanne L. Becker University of South Florida Tampa, FL "3-D Growth Effects on Drug Resistance in Human Ovarian Tumor Cells" Dr. Luca Inverardi University of Miami School of Medicine Miami, FL "Cell Transplantation Therapy for Diabetes Utilizing Immunoprivileged Sertoli-Islet Cell Aggregates (SICAs)" Dr. Samuel Saporta University of South Florida College of Medicine Tampa, FL "Creation and Transplantation of Immunoprivileged Sertoli-Neuron- Aggregated-Cells (SNACs) for the Treatment of Parkinson Disease" *****Iowa Professor Mark A. Arnold University of Iowa Iowa City, IA "Noninvasive Near-Infrared Monitors for Protein Crystallization and Biomedical Systems" *****Illinois Dr. Ronald S. Kaplan The Chicago Medical School North Chicago, IL "Crystallization of the Mitochondrial Metabolite Transport Proteins" *****Indiana Professor Barbara L. Golden Purdue University West Lafayette, IN "Engineering a Ribozyme for Diffraction Properties" *****Louisiana Dr. Timothy G Hammond Tulane University Medical Center New Orleans, LA "Transcription Factors Mediating Gene Expression Changes During Renal Cell Rotating Wall Vessel Culture" Dr. Cheryl A. Nickerson Tulane University Medical Center New Orleans, LA "Novel Tissue Assemblies: Models for Enteric Pathogenesis" Professor Kim C. O'Connor Tulane University New Orleans, LA "Spatial Organization within Prostate Cancer Spheroids" *****Maryland Dr. James L. Harden Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD "A Modular Library of Self-Assembling Proteins for Three- Dimensional Tissue Culture" *****Massachusetts Dr. William J. Schwartz University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester, MA "Microgravity and the Biology of Neural Stem Cells" Dr. Arthur J. Sytkowski Beth Israel Deasoness Medical Center Boston, MA "Growth Factor Receptor Function and Cell Differentiation in a Low- Shear Environment" *****Mississippi Dr. W. William Wilson Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS "High Throughput Screening of Protein-Protein Interactions by Microchip SPACE" *****Nevada Dr. Graca Almeida-Porada University of Nevada School of Medicine Reno, NV "Stem Cell Plasticity Under Simulated Microgravity" *****New York Professor George T. DeTitta Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute Buffalo, NY "High Throughput Methods for Rational Prediction of Macromolecular Crystallization Conditions" Professor Robert E. Thorne Cornell University Ithaca, NY "Macromolecular Crystal Growth: Techniques Development, Fundamental Studies, and Applications to Complexes Affecting Cell Growth and Division" Dr. J.H. David Wu University of Rochester Rochester, NY "Circadian Rhythms and Control of Hematopoiesis" *****Ohio Dr. Gloria E. Borgstahl University of Toledo Toledo, OH "Searching for the Best Protein Crystals: Integration of Synchrotron-Based Crystal Quality Measurements and Structure Determination" Dr. Constance A. Schall University of Toledo Toledo, OH "Optimization of Cryogenic Cooling of Protein Crystals" *****Pennsylvania Dr. Andrzej Fertala Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA "Genetically Engineered Collagen II for Smart Biomaterials" Professor Patrick J. Loll University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA "Detergent Interactions Affecting Membrane Protein Crystallization: Analysis and Use in Screen Design" Professor Irving M. Shapiro University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA "Impact of Microgravity on Human Osteoblast Life History: Experimental Investigation and Numerical Study" Professor Robert D. Tilton Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA "Electroosmotic and Electrophoretic Self-Assembly Techniques to Promote Mass Transfer in Biosensors" *****Tennessee Dr. Gerard J. Bunick University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN "Structural Studies of Nucleosomes and Chromatin" Dr. John Michael Ramsey Oak Ridge National Laboratory Oak Ridge, TN "Automated Microfluidic Devices for Monitoring Biological Systems in Space" *****Texas Dr. John M. Jessup University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, TX "Gene Expression of Human Colorectal Carcinoma in Microgravity" Dr. Lynne P. Rutzky University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Houston, TX "Effect of Microgravity on Pancreatic Islet Xenotransplantation, Vascularization, and Stem Cell Growth" Dr. Boris Yoffe Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX "Liver Tissue Engineering in Microgravity Environment" *****Virginia Professor Michael C. Wiener University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA "A Directed Approach to Membrane Protein Crystallography" *****Washington Dr. Albert Folch University of Washington Seattle, WA "Microarrays of Cellular Membrane Patches for In-flight Studies of Ion Channel Function"