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Project Title:  Spatiotemporal Mapping of the Impact of Spaceflight on the Heart and Brain Reduce
Images: icon  Fiscal Year: FY 2022 
Division: Space Biology 
Research Discipline/Element:
Space Biology: Cell & Molecular Biology   | Animal Biology: Vertebrate  
Start Date: 12/01/2021  
End Date: 11/30/2024  
Task Last Updated: 02/24/2022 
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Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Mason, Christopher  Ph.D. / Weill Medical College of Cornell University 
Address:  1305 York Ave, Room Y13-04, Box 140 
New York , NY 10021-5663 
Phone: 203-668-1448  
Congressional District: 12 
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: Weill Medical College of Cornell University 
Joint Agency:  
Costes, Sylvain  Ph.D. NASA Ames Research Center 
Galazka, Jonathan  Ph.D. NASA Ames Research Center 
Giacomello, Stefania  Ph.D. Kungliga Tekniska Hogskolan 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. 80NSSC22K0254 
Responsible Center: NASA ARC 
Grant Monitor: Griko, Yuri  
Center Contact: 650-604-0519 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2020 Space Biology NNH20ZDA001N-SB E.12. Flight/Ground Research 
Grant/Contract No.: 80NSSC22K0254 
Project Type: GROUND 
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Space Biology Element: (1) Cell & Molecular Biology
(2) Animal Biology: Vertebrate
Space Biology Cross-Element Discipline: None
Space Biology Special Category: None
Task Description: To prepare for future human exploration missions far from Earth, NASA’s Space Biology Program is seeking to build a better understanding of the effects of spaceflight and zero gravity on the biology of microorganisms, plants, and animals in spacecraft, the International Space Station (ISS), and also in ground-based analog experiments. The National Research Council recommended that NASA undergo studies to elucidate the effects of short and long duration spaceflight on the biology of all three categories of organisms. Technological advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS), spatial transcriptomics, and proteomics (spatial omics), several of which we describe below, create an unprecedented opportunity for in-depth molecular studies applicable to the purposes of NASA’s Space Biology Program. This provides scientists, engineers, and clinicians a more comprehensive view of the functional dynamics of organisms as they evolve and respond to unique or highly selective environments including the ISS.

Spaceflight causes changes in cell signaling pathways that are better understood only by increasing the analysis resolution level. In this project, we will deploy new technologies, i.e. spatial transcriptomics, single-nucleus RNA-sequencing, multi-omic spatial mapping (human and microbial), and systems biology algorithms to discover new insights relevant to the impact of spaceflight on human health. These data and methods will shed light on the complex biosystem dynamics that spaceflight causes in humans. We will be able to clearly dissect the gene expression changes occurring at the single-cell level, analyze how these changes affect the cell-cell genetic and physical interactions, and begin the first-ever in vivo human-microbial interaction maps from spaceflight. To do so we will conduct rigorous and cutting-edge omics analysis using two complementary platforms (10x Genomics Visium and Nanostring’s GeoMx) with six main rodent organs collected throughout several past spaceflight missions and their corresponding ground controls. Our integrated biology approach will allow us to understand physiological, anatomic, and molecular mechanisms of adaptation and response in animals to spaceflight.

For our organism-wide study we will leverage the extensive amount of samples collected throughout several Rodent Research (RR) missions which are accessible through the Life Sciences Data Repository (LSDA). Several of these specimens have already been allocated for Dr. Mason through LSDA. Our study will represent the first-of-its-kind in space biology and will provide foundational discoveries that will allow us to understand not only how astronaut conditions can be improved during spaceflight, but also how the changes induced by spaceflight can be translated into modern medicine to improve human health on Earth. Moreover, we will apply several statistical and machine learning techniques in order to predict changes induced by spaceflight at the organism level for future long-term missions.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits:

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2022 
Task Progress: New project for FY2022.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 08/31/2021) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 None in FY 2022