NASA awards radiobiology research grants
Studies will focus on the influence of space radiation on astronaut health.
August 6, 2008
Provided by NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
August 6, 2008
Grants from NASA's Human Research Program will allow researchers to address the impact of space radiation on astronauts, including risk of cancer and potential damage to the central nervous system.
Photo by NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Collection
NASA's Human Research Program will fund nine proposals from six states to investigate questions about the effects of space radiation on human explorers. The selected proposals from researchers in California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, New York, and Utah have a total value of approximately $13 million.
The ground-based studies will address the impact of space radiation on astronaut health. Research areas will include risk predictions for cancer and models for potential damage to the central nervous system.
"The proposals funded this year using advanced biomedical approaches will lead to a much deeper understanding than has been possible in the past on how celestial radiation differs from radiation on Earth," said Francis A. Cucinotta, chief scientist for the Human Research Program at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
The Human Research Program provides knowledge and technologies to improve human health during space exploration and identifies possible countermeasures for known problems. The program quantifies crew health and performance risks during spaceflight and develops strategies that mission planners and system developers can use to monitor and mitigate health risks.
The nine projects were selected from 60 proposals that were reviewed by scientific and technical experts from academia and government laboratories. Winners are listed below:
John Fike, University of California, San Francisco, Use of a molecular marker of learning and memory to assess effects of 56Fe irradiation on hippocampus-dependent cognition and neurogenesisJanice Pluth, UC Berkeley, Elucidating the Relationship Between the Effects of Various Radiation Qualities and Cancer Development Processes using Novel Flow-based AssaysCharles Limoli, University of California, Irvine, Oxidative stress as a mechanism for altering acute and chronic functional changes in the CNS exposed to low dose, low dose rates, and mixed fields of protons and HZE nucleiChuan-Yuan Li, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, A mechanistic investigation of space radiation-induced carcinogenesisHuichen Wang, Emory University, Molecular Basis of DNA Repair and Protection from Apoptosis in Neuronal Progenitors Exposed to Space RadiationRobert Hienz, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Cognitive/Behavioral, Sensory, & Motor Changes Induced by SPE and GCR IrradiationsSally Amundson, Columbia University, HZE-induced mammary cancer development processes in murine and "humanized" models, and their influence on radiation quality functionsM. Kerry O'Banion, University of Rochester, Local CNS and Systemic Inflammatory Effects Following Proton and Mixed Particle ExposureJerry Shay, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Risk Assessment of Space Radiation-Enhanced Colon Tumorigenesis