Allen Lab Research is going to SPACE!

Congratulations to Josephine Allen, Ph.D., and the Allen Lab for being selected for the Space Research Initiative and the Florida Space Institute to conduct research aboard the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. The joint UF-CASIS (Center for the Advancement of Science in Space) initiative supports the award to help fund space-related research.

Allen is motivated by data showing a link between space flight and cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence. With the underlying contributing factor in CVD being dysfunctional vascular cells, it becomes important to study these cells under altered growth conditions. The proposed work aims to elucidate the mechanism of vascular cell damage in the space environment by exposing vascular cells to space flight.

In this pilot study, Allen will assess changes in transcriptomics of vascular cell types in space compared to those in a ground-based study. It is hoped that the insight gained will contribute to a greater understanding of CVD disease and open new lines of research and/or treatment options to study and/or repair these damaging molecular mechanisms.

Allen has joined with implementation partner Space Technology and Advanced Research Systems, Inc. (STaARS) to provide advanced flight hardware. The project is expected to be flown on ISS in late summer 2017.