Press Release

NASA Selects Research Proposals in Cellular and Macromolecular Biotechnology

By SpaceRef Editor
June 22, 2001
Filed under , ,

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.

A list of the selected principal investigators, institutions, and
research titles (by state) can be found below:


*****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”

SpaceRef staff editor.