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Project Title:  Pilot Assessment of Stress and Latent Herpesvirus Reactivation at Palmer, Antarctica – Platform for Validation of Immune Countermeasures? Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2021 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 12/01/2018  
End Date: 10/31/2022  
Task Last Updated: 04/27/2021 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Crucian, Brian  Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  Immunology, SK4 
2101 NASA Pkwy 
Houston , TX 77058-3607 
Email: brian.crucian-1@nasa.gov 
Phone: 281-483-7061  
Congressional District: 36 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Mehta, Satish  Ph.D. JES Tech/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Makedonas, George  Ph.D. JES Tech/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Krieger, Stephanie  B.S. KBRwyle/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Bhattacharya, Sharmila  Ph.D. NASA Ames Research Center 
Paul, Amber  Ph.D. NASA Ames Research Center 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Directed Research 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Stenger, Michael  
Center Contact: 281-483-1311 
michael.b.stenger@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: Directed Research 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
Human Research Program Elements: (1) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Immune:Risk of Adverse Health Event Due to Altered Immune Response (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) IM-101:Evaluate the effects of deep-space radiation on immune dysfunction, as an additional hazard to the effects of psychophysiological stress and weightlessness (IRP Rev L)
(2) IM-102:Evaluate the effects of altered atmospheric conditions such as elevated CO2 levels or mildly hypoxic exploration atmosphere on immune dysfunction (IRP Rev L)
(3) IM-301: Identify appropriate ground-based analogs to spaceflight-induced immune dysfunction to enable ground validation of preventive/mitigative countermeasures and derive mechanistic insights (IRP Rev L)
(4) IM-401:Test, optimize and validate nutrition-based preventive/mitigative countermeasures (IRP Rev L)
(5) IM-403:Test, optimize and validate stress reduction techniques as preventive and mitigative immune dysfunction countermeasures (IRP Rev L)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date changed to 10/31/2022 per PI (Ed., 4/23/21)

Task Description: Recent publications have characterized adverse health events potentially related to immune system dysregulation in some crewmembers onboard the International Space Station (ISS). An appropriate ground analog has yet to be validated, although several European bases are being characterized. This study seeks to collect low-cost pilot data assessing stress, immunity, and viral reactivation during winterover at the U.S. Palmer Station, Antarctica. The goal is to ascertain if Palmer may serve as a spaceflight analog option for ground validation of immune countermeasures. NASA currently has no relevant data from Palmer station. This study may be performed by simply returning frozen saliva samples, frozen plasma from a venous blood sample, a 3 cm hair sample, as well as a rapid fingerstick blood analysis on location from crewmembers performing winterover. The inclusion of a hand held fingerstick blood analyzer will enable the use of a neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio as an indicator of disease susceptibility. Returned saliva samples will be used to assess a variety of parameters including stress hormones, cytokines/inflammation, and latent herpesviruses (an excellent flight-validated biomarker of immune dysregulation). Returned plasma samples will be used to assess plasma cytokines/inflammation biomarkers.

Aims

1. Investigate the effect of coastal Antarctica winterover on salivary stress hormones, salivary cytokine profiles, plasma cytokines, and basic peripheral leukocyte distribution.

2. Investigate the effect of coastal Antarctica winterover on the reactivation and shedding of latent herpesviruses.

3. Characterize other adverse clinical outcomes, as voluntarily shared by crewmembers via a health survey, such that immune changes, viral reactivation, and clinical manifestations may be correlated to infer information regarding clinical risk from persistent immune dysregulation.

Rationale for HRP Directed Research: The justification for Directed Task is the highly constrained nature of this pilot study involving focused and constrained data gathering and analysis that is more appropriately obtained through a non-competitive proposal, which could include a follow on task to a solicitation. This is a low-cost pilot study that would have been classified as Discretionary if not for the use of an analog site (Antarctica).

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: This study may be able to provide new insights into the relationship between immune function, stress, and adverse clinical events. In particular, as relates to confinement and deployment stress.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2021 
Task Progress: Laboratory members planned to rally in Denver in March 2020 to meet the winterover crewmembers for training, informed consent briefings, and BDC (baseline data collection) collections. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the plans had to be rapidly altered to give the training and informed consent briefing remotely. The Antarctic crewmembers were quarantined for 2 weeks on the ship off the coast of Chile. Training videos and handouts had to be made quickly in order to support the BDC collection that occurred during the quarantine period on the ship.

All winterover collections were performed for the first winterover season and the plasma, saliva and hair samples were returned to Johnson Space Center (JSC) in February 2021. These samples will be analyzed soon.

Sample collection supplies for the 2021 winterover season were shipped to Port Hueneme, CA in December 2020 and supplies for the BDC collection were shipped to San Francisco, CA in April 2021. The BDC collection will occur in April 2021 while the winterover crewmembers are isolated on the ship off the coast of Chile again. We expect to receive the second winterover samples in early 2022.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 09/15/2020)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2021
Project Title:  Pilot Assessment of Stress and Latent Herpesvirus Reactivation at Palmer, Antarctica – Platform for Validation of Immune Countermeasures? Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2020 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 12/01/2018  
End Date: 09/30/2021  
Task Last Updated: 09/23/2019 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Crucian, Brian  Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  Immunology, SK4 
2101 NASA Pkwy 
Houston , TX 77058-3607 
Email: brian.crucian-1@nasa.gov 
Phone: 281-483-7061  
Congressional District: 36 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Mehta, Satish  Ph.D. JES Tech/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Makedonas, George  Ph.D. JES Tech/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Krieger, Stephanie  B.S. KBRwyle/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Bhattacharya, Sharmila  Ph.D. NASA Ames Research Center 
Paul, Amber  Ph.D. NASA Ames Research Center 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Directed Research 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Norsk, Peter  
Center Contact:  
Peter.norsk@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: Directed Research 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
Human Research Program Elements: (1) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Immune:Risk of Adverse Health Event Due to Altered Immune Response (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) IM-101:Evaluate the effects of deep-space radiation on immune dysfunction, as an additional hazard to the effects of psychophysiological stress and weightlessness (IRP Rev L)
(2) IM-102:Evaluate the effects of altered atmospheric conditions such as elevated CO2 levels or mildly hypoxic exploration atmosphere on immune dysfunction (IRP Rev L)
(3) IM-301: Identify appropriate ground-based analogs to spaceflight-induced immune dysfunction to enable ground validation of preventive/mitigative countermeasures and derive mechanistic insights (IRP Rev L)
(4) IM-401:Test, optimize and validate nutrition-based preventive/mitigative countermeasures (IRP Rev L)
(5) IM-403:Test, optimize and validate stress reduction techniques as preventive and mitigative immune dysfunction countermeasures (IRP Rev L)
Task Description: Recent publications have characterized adverse health events potentially related to immune system dysregulation in some crewmembers onboard the International Space Station (ISS). An appropriate ground analog has yet to be validated, although several European bases are being characterized. This study seeks to collect low-cost pilot data assessing stress, immunity, and viral reactivation during winterover at the U.S. Palmer Station, Antarctica. The goal is to ascertain if Palmer may serve as a spaceflight analog option for ground validation of immune countermeasures. NASA currently has no relevant data from Palmer station. This study may be performed by simply returning frozen saliva samples, frozen plasma from a venous blood sample, a 3 cm hair sample, as well as a rapid fingerstick blood analysis on location from crewmembers performing winterover. The inclusion of a hand held fingerstick blood analyzer will enable the use of a neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio as an indicator of disease susceptibility. Returned saliva samples will be used to assess a variety of parameters including stress hormones, cytokines/inflammation, and latent herpesviruses (an excellent flight-validated biomarker of immune dysregulation). Returned plasma samples will be used to assess plasma cytokines/inflammation biomarkers.

Aims

1. Investigate the effect of coastal Antarctica winterover on salivary stress hormones, salivary cytokine profiles, plasma cytokines, and basic peripheral leukocyte distribution.

2. Investigate the effect of coastal Antarctica winterover on the reactivation and shedding of latent herpesviruses.

3. Characterize other adverse clinical outcomes, as voluntarily shared by crewmembers via a health survey, such that immune changes, viral reactivation, and clinical manifestations may be correlated to infer information regarding clinical risk from persistent immune dysregulation.

Rationale for HRP Directed Research: The justification for Directed Task is the highly constrained nature of this pilot study involving focused and constrained data gathering and analysis that is more appropriately obtained through a non-competitive proposal, which could include a follow on task to a solicitation. This is a low-cost pilot study that would have been classified as Discretionary if not for the use of an analog site (Antarctica).

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: This study may be able to provide new insights into the relationship between immune function, stress, and adverse clinical events. In particular, as relates to confinement and deployment stress.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2020 
Task Progress: The Institutional Review Board (IRB) for this study has been submitted and approved. Two HemoCue Diff systems have been purchased and will be shipped to Palmer station along with other necessary supplies. Several planning/logistics meetings have taken place comprised of the principal investigator, laboratory, National Science Foundation (NSF), and NASA Research Operations and Integration personnel.

Palmer crewmembers will rally in Denver prior to entry to Palmer station in March/April 2020. Laboratory personnel plan to meet the crewmembers in Denver for training and informed consent briefings. Supplies for the study will be shipped to the NSF in California at least 90 days prior to crewmember entry to Palmer station.

Two additional assays have been added to this study: (1) assessment of plasma cytokines, which entails centrifugation of a venous blood sample, and (2) a small hair sample collection to assess biomarkers of stress.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 09/15/2020)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2020
Project Title:  Pilot Assessment of Stress and Latent Herpesvirus Reactivation at Palmer, Antarctica – Platform for Validation of Immune Countermeasures? Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2019 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 12/01/2018  
End Date: 09/30/2021  
Task Last Updated: 06/27/2019 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Crucian, Brian  Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  Immunology, SK4 
2101 NASA Pkwy 
Houston , TX 77058-3607 
Email: brian.crucian-1@nasa.gov 
Phone: 281-483-7061  
Congressional District: 36 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Mehta, Satish  Ph.D. JES Tech/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Makedonas, George  Ph.D. JES Tech/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Krieger, Stephanie  B.S. KBRwyle/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Bhattacharya, Sharmila  Ph.D. NASA Ames Research Center 
Paul, Amber  Ph.D. NASA Ames Research Center 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Directed Research 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Norsk, Peter  
Center Contact:  
Peter.norsk@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: Directed Research 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:  
No. of PhD Candidates:  
No. of Master's Candidates:  
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:  
No. of PhD Degrees:  
No. of Master's Degrees:  
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:  
Human Research Program Elements: (1) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Immune:Risk of Adverse Health Event Due to Altered Immune Response (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) IM-101:Evaluate the effects of deep-space radiation on immune dysfunction, as an additional hazard to the effects of psychophysiological stress and weightlessness (IRP Rev L)
(2) IM-102:Evaluate the effects of altered atmospheric conditions such as elevated CO2 levels or mildly hypoxic exploration atmosphere on immune dysfunction (IRP Rev L)
(3) IM-301: Identify appropriate ground-based analogs to spaceflight-induced immune dysfunction to enable ground validation of preventive/mitigative countermeasures and derive mechanistic insights (IRP Rev L)
(4) IM-401:Test, optimize and validate nutrition-based preventive/mitigative countermeasures (IRP Rev L)
(5) IM-403:Test, optimize and validate stress reduction techniques as preventive and mitigative immune dysfunction countermeasures (IRP Rev L)
Task Description: Recent publications have characterized adverse health events potentially related to immune system dysregulation in some crewmembers onboard the International Space Station (ISS). An appropriate ground analog has yet to be validated, although several European bases are being characterized. This study seeks to collect low-cost pilot data assessing stress, immunity, and viral reactivation during winterover at the U.S. Palmer Station, Antarctica. The goal is to ascertain if Palmer may serve as a spaceflight analog option for ground validation of immune countermeasures. NASA currently has no relevant data from Palmer station. This study may be performed by simply returning frozen saliva samples from crewmembers performing winterover along with a rapid fingerstick blood analysis on location. The inclusion of a hand held fingerstick blood analyzer will enable the use of a neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio as an indicator of disease susceptibility. Returned saliva samples will be used to assess a variety of parameters including stress hormones, cytokines/inflammation, and latent herpesviruses (an excellent flight-validated biomarker of immune dysregulation).

Aims

1. Investigate the effect of coastal Antarctica winterover on salivary stress hormones, salivary cytokine profiles, and basic peripheral leukocyte distribution.

2. Investigate the effect of coastal Antarctica winterover on the reactivation and shedding of latent herpesviruses.

3. Characterize other adverse clinical outcomes, as voluntarily shared by crewmembers via a health survey, such that immune changes, viral reactivation, and clinical manifestations may be correlated to infer information regarding clinical risk from persistent immune dysregulation.

Rationale for HRP Directed Research: The justification for Directed Task is the highly constrained nature of this pilot study involving focused and constrained data gathering and analysis that is more appropriately obtained through a non-competitive proposal, which could include a follow on task to a solicitation. This is a low-cost pilot study that would have been classified as Discretionary if not for the use of an analog site (Antarctica).

Research Impact/Earth Benefits:

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2019 
Task Progress: New project for FY2019.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 09/15/2020)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2019