Congratulation to 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 award is supported by the joint UF-CASIS (Center for the Advancement of Science in Space) initiative to support space-related research.
Dr. Allen is motivated by data that has shown a link between space flight and the incident of cardiovascular disease (CVD). With the underlying contributing factor in CVD being dysfunctional vascular cells, it becomes important to study these cells under altered growth conditions. The goal of the work proposed is to elucidate the mechanism of vascular cell damage in the space environment by exposing vascular cells to space flight. In this pilot study, we will assess changes in transcriptomics of vascular cell types in space compared to those in a ground based study. It is our hope that the insight that will be gained will contribute to a greater understanding of CVD disease as well opening new lines of research and/or treatment option to study and/or repair these damaging molecular mechanisms.
Dr. Allen has teamed up 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.