Student-Faculty Programs Office
Summer 2017 Announcements of Opportunity

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Project:  Characterization of ISS microorganisms: Antibiotic profiling, biofilm formation, countermeasure development
Disciplines:  Biology/Bioengineering, Computer Science
Mentor:  Kasthuri Venkateswaran, (JPL),, Phone: (818) 393-1481
Background:  International Space Station Microbial Observatory of Pathogenic Virus, Bacteria, and Fungi (ISS-MOP) project will generate the microbial censuses associated with various ISS modules using traditional culture-based methods and state-of-the art molecular techniques. The objectives of the ISS-MOP project are to measure presence of viral and select bacterial and fungal pathogens and correlate their presence on crew. The effects of the spaceflight environment on viral and microbial pathogen dynamics are largely unknown and represent both a significant gap in our knowledge and an important opportunity to study the presence of microbial populations and predict health risks during long-term space exploration.
Description:  The objectives of the ISS-MOP project directly respond to the National Research Council Committee for the Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space recommendation P1 where it states, to establish a microbial observatory program on the ISS to conduct long-term, multigenerational studies of microbial population dynamics. The ISS-MOP project will also provide answers to NASA Space Biology Guiding Questions: How do alterations in gravity affect in microbial cells (CMM1)?; Does the enhanced virulence or other genetic changes observed with microbial cultures flown in space occur in other species (CMM4)?; and What are the genetic changes underlying physiological responses to space flight demonstrated in biological systems (CMM5)?
Student Requirements:  Microbiology, Molecular biology, Biochemistry, Computational skills
Location / Safety:  Project building and/or room locations: . Student will need special safety training: Yes.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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Problems with or questions about submitting an AO?  Call Jen Manglos of the Student-Faculty Programs Office at (626) 395-2885.
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