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NASA Space Biology Program and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation award Five Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Monday, April 10, 2017

NASA and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation agreed through a Space Act Agreement to work in parallel for a common purpose: to sponsor studies designed to provide insight into the microbiome of the built environment of the International Space Station (ISS) that will advance our knowledge and understanding of human-built habitats on Earth, to enhance ISS utilization, and to inform the designers and developers of future space exploration vehicles that are occupied by humans. As a result, NASA and the Sloan Foundation have solicited, through parallel research announcements, applications for post-doctoral fellowships from early career scientists to design experiments that utilize a NASA collection of ISS microbial isolates collected over more than a decade in order to better understand how microbial communities colonize, adapt, and evolve on the ISS.
 
NASA's Space Biology Program and the Sloan Foundation will fund five proposals from post-doctoral applicants that will characterize microbial populations isolated from the ISS. Proposals were submitted in response to the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) NHH16ZTT001N-MoBE, "Appendix B: Research Opportunities for Post-Doctoral Fellowships in Space Biology to Study the Microbiome of the ISS as a Built Environment: Using ISS as a Microbiological Observatory”, and to the Sloan Announcement “Research Opportunities for Post-Doctoral Fellowships in Space Biology to Study the Microbiome of the ISS as a Built Environment: Using ISS as a Microbiological Observatory”.
 
The selected post-doctoral applicants represent five institutions in three states. When fully implemented, these fellowships are worth a total of $700,000 during a two-year period.
 
These funded research projects will examine how the space flight environment influences genetic changes in microorganisms and contributes to changes in microbial virulence and resistance to antimicrobial agents. Additionally, these projects will study how microbes from these isolates form biofilms, as well as how they contribute to the bio-corrosion of materials.
 
The Space Biology Program is managed by the Space Life and Physical Sciences Research Applications Division in NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington, DC.
 
The Microbiology of the Built Environment (MoBE) Program is managed by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a charitable foundation based in New York City that supports research in science, technology, and economics.
 
For a complete list of the selected proposals, principal investigators and organizations, visit:
 
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-alfred-p-sloan-foundation-award-fellowships-to-study-space-station-microbes
 

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