The SSEP Step 2 Review Board for Mission 14 to ISS

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), and Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, are proud to introduce the National Step 2 Review Board for SSEP Mission 14 to the International Space Station (ISS). On December 2 and 3, 2019, the Board met at the Goddard Visitor Center in Greenbelt, MD, to review 97 finalist proposals for student flight experiments submitted from across the network of 32 communities participating in SSEP Mission 14 to ISS. Listed below are the 55 Board Members—scientists, engineers, and science educators from academia, federal agencies, commercial entities, and national science education non-profits.

For Mission 14 to ISS, a total of XX grade 5-16 students were formally engaged in designing microgravity experiments suitable for flight aboard ISS. At the conclusion of the 9-week experiment design phase, a total of XX proposals were submitted by student teams, and XX proposals were forwarded for review by SSEP Step 1 Review Boards in the communities. In 1 of the 32 Mission 14 communities, community leadership opted to fly 2 experiments.

For Step 2 review, the Board Members were divided into 11 teams, each comprised of both researchers and science educators, and each team responsible for review of proposals from two to three SSEP communities. Board Members selected 33 flight experiments, one for each of 32 communities, with one community flying two experiments. The Board Members spent a great deal of time providing thoughtful comments for all 97 proposals, which were forwarded to the proposing student teams by NCESSE. The review went well beyond what is typical of reviews for professional research proposals given the deep recognition that the review process, and the comments back, were critically important teachable moments for the student researchers that worked so hard on their proposals. Through SSEP, we want to immerse students in real science. The review process is very much a part of real science, and that process therefore needs to be transparent and a learning experience.

NCESSE reviewed all comments from the Step 2 Review Board to assess if there were any outstanding questions that needed to be addressed by the selected student flight teams, and by December 17, 2019, NCESSE formally notified each community of their selected flight experiments.

You are invited to explore the selected flight experiments and honorable mention finalist experiments for Mission 14 to ISS.

A Note to All Mission 14 Student Research Teams
To the thousands of students that participated in SSEP Mission 14 to ISS, regardless of whether your proposal was selected for flight, and regardless of whether it formally went before a Review Board, it is important to recognize the endeavor in which you’ve been engaged – real science. This is how real research proceeds from opportunity, to defining a proposed research program, to submission of a proposal, to formal proposal review and selection. In the professional world, comments back from the Review Board allow a team to rethink and refine their proposed research, so they can submit a better proposal for the next opportunity. We have indeed had SSEP student teams that did not get selected for spaceflight the first time, but did get selected with a refined proposal as part of their community’s next flight opportunity.

Reflect on the overall experience, and recognize that you and your team owned this process – you came up with a microgravity experiment of interest to you, and designed it to fly in a research mini-lab that has a very real set of constraints on its operation. So get excited about what you’ve achieved, and get excited about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We challenge you to seek out new opportunities in STEM where you can be curious and take ownership … in the journey.

Finally, recognize that YOUR COMMUNITY now has an experiment destined for the International Space Station, that you are part of this historic adventure, and now you and your community can rally around your flight experiment and root for its success.

 

The SSEP National Step 2 Review Board for Mission 14 to ISS—

1. Dr. Kevin AbbottDr. Kevin Abbott, Professor of Medicine and Director, Kidney and Urology Epidemiology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Professor of Medicine and Director, Kidney and Urology Epidemiology
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
As Director of Kidney and Urology Epidemiology for KUH, Dr. Abbott’s portfolio includes oversight of the United States Renal Data System and Urologic Diseases of America. In addition, he oversees a portfolio of projects involving end stage renal disease, kidney transplantation, bone and mineral metabolism, and urological epidemiology. For epidemiologic research, he is interested in descriptive, analytic, and interventional epidemiologic research projects in renal and non-cancer urologic disease. Specific to renal research in transplant and dialysis, he supports basic, translational and clinical studies in all aspects of ESRD. This program also encompasses diet and nutrition in patients with ESRD and in patients on renal replacement therapy. Other areas of interest include: dialytic therapy, organ procurement; and methods for making organs more available (including organ storage and preservation); non-immune kidney allograft dysfunction; chronic rejection.

 

2. Dr. Shaun BrinsmadeDr. Shaun Brinsmade, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Georgetown University
Associate Professor, Department of Biology
Georgetown University
Shaun Brinsmade is a bacterial physiologist and an associate professor in the Department of Biology at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. His research lab has focused on Staphylococcus aureus, a human commensal bacterium and opportunistic human pathogen, that is a leading cause of skin and soft tissue infections, bone infections, infectious heart disease, and bacteremia. They use the power of S. aureus genetics in combination with biochemistry and genomics to unravel biological questions at the intersection between bacterial physiology and pathogenesis in Gram-positive bacteria. The group pursues a variety of topics that are broadly grouped under the theme of nutritional regulation of pathogenesis. Currently, they are working to understand the role of the nutrient-sensing global transcriptional regulator CodY during infection. This bacterial protein may act as a molecular switch that mediates the transformation from a harmless bacterium to one that causes disease, and may be a new therapeutic target. To learn more, visit www.brinsmadelab.com.

 

3. Dr. Michelle Brooks
Senior Management, Office of Professional Training
American Chemical Society

 

4. Dr. James ChurchillJames Churchill, Senior Advisor, National Institute of Mental Health
Senior Advisor
National Institute of Mental Health
Dr. James Churchill serves as Senior Advisor to the Director at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Dr. Churchill is a neuroscientist and has conducted research evaluating the anatomical and physiological basis of learning and memory. During his tenure at the NIMH, Dr. Churchill has managed a variety of projects from supporting young investigators to managing BRAIN Initiative efforts in the areas of next generation human brain imaging and neuroethics to the coordinating interagency research on suicide.

 

5. Dr. Douglas DluzenDr. Douglas Dluzen Assistant Professor, Biology Department Morgan State University
Assistant Professor, Biology Department
Morgan State University
Douglas Dluzen is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Morgan State University. His laboratory is focused on the intersection of human health disparities, aging, and the environment. He is interested in identifying biological and socioeconomic factors that influence health disparities in the community and their impact on healthy aging and age-related diseases. Doug primarily studies the role of non-coding RNAs in the biology of these mechanisms contributes to cardiovascular disease disparities in Baltimore City. He earned his B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Ph.D. in Genetics from the Pennsylvania State University Hershey College of Medicine. He was a post-doctoral research fellow at the National Institute on Aging. He teaching evolutionary biology, genetics, and environmental biotechnology to students at Morgan State. In his free time he writes science fiction and non-fiction, and his work can be found in Clarkesworld Magazine and Analog Science Fiction and Fact.

 

6. Dr. Daniel DwyerDr. Daniel Dwyer, Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, Institute for Physical Science and Technology, Maryland Pathogen Research Institute University of Maryland
Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, Institute for Physical Science and Technology, Maryland Pathogen Research Institute
University of Maryland
Dr. Dwyer’s research interests are rooted in the study of dynamic events that occur during bacterial cell death and the influence of these events on antibiotic susceptibility. To address complex questions related to lethally stressed bacterial pathogens, the Dwyer Lab utilizes a broad complement of microbiology, bioengineering and chemical biology methods. Most notably, the lab applies synthetic and systems biology approaches to the identification and investigation of physiological vulnerabilities that appear under conditions of antibiotic stress in order to enhance our current antibiotic arsenal and resensitize drug resistant bacteria. Dr. Dwyer obtained his Ph.D. from the Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry Program at Boston University, following his B.S. in Biology from Boston College and two years in research and development at Forticell Bioscience, a tissue engineering company.

 

7. Dr. Anahi EspindolaAnahi Espindola, Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park
Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology
University of Maryland, College Park
Anahí Espíndola is an Assistant Professor in Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland, College Park. She obtained her PhD at the University of Neuchatel (Switzerland), later worked at the University of Idaho as a post-doctoral researcher, and has now established her lab at the UMD. She is interested in understanding how the biotic and abiotic environment affect the way species interact and diversify. To do this she uses ecological, geospatial, experimental and phylogenetic approaches, that she applies on natural systems. Although she has been working on many different organisms and ecosystems, plant-insect interactions in general and pollination in particular have now become close to her heart. Along with aiming to improve our knowledge on the relationship between the environment and species interactions, another of Dr. Espíndola’s goals is to promote innovation through the creation of welcoming, creative and inclusive research and education spaces.

 

8. Dr. José FeijóDr. José Feijó Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics University of Maryland
Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
University of Maryland
José is a Professor at the University of Maryland. He is a Plant Cell Biologist, focusing on reproduction and using the male gametophyte of plants as a model system to understand the fundamental properties of cellular growth, morphogenesis, and cell to cell communication. José uses a combination of live imaging, electrophysiology and genetics tools, and interfaces with biophysics by developing mathematical and computational models. He has been involved in a number of major initiatives for science vulgarization, including being the curator of one of the world largest exhibitions organized to commemorate Darwin’s bicentenary (“Darwin’s Evolution”) with the Gulbenkian Foundation, which included collaborations with the Natural History Museums of New York, London, Madrid, Paris, Berlin, etc. The exhibition toured 6 venues in 3 countries reaching close to 0.5 million visitors. He was a founding member and editor for Biology of “Casa das Ciencias”, a web portal dedicated to science educators and students in Portuguese (casadasciencias.org), which sponsors the adaptation of education materials to Portuguese, and publishes original educational materials. José has organized international courses and workshops on live imaging and Plant Development, and is involved in teaching plant biology and microscopy in the first BioMedical Ph.D. program in Portuguese speaking Africa, taking place at the University of Cape Verde.

 

9. Damien Ferhadian, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
National Institutes of Health

 

10. Dr. Talita B. GagliardiTalita B. Gagliardi Research Assistant, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics University of Maryland, College Park
Research Assistant, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
University of Maryland, College Park
Talita B. Gagliardi is Research Assistant at the University of Maryland (UMD). She is Bachelor in Biomedical Science and Specialist in Clinical Analysis; and obtained her PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology & Microbiology from University of São Paulo (SP, Brazil) in 2012. She worked as Postdoctoral Fellow in University of São Paulo (SP, Brazil; 2012-2016) and in Columbia University (NY, USA; 2013). Recently, she has been conducting studies about human rhinoviruses and human influeza virus together with Dr. Margaret Scull’s group. Talita’s interests are studying about human respiratory viruses regarding their replication; the effect of virus variability to the immune response; pathogenesis of viral infection; search for potential antiviral targets and vaccine production. She always looks forward to expand her contribution to Virology area, as collaborating in studies about animal viruses; and also in educational area.

 

11. S. Stephanie Garcia-Buntley, PhDS. Stephanie Garcia-Buntley, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Microbiology, Uniformed Services University
Postdoctoral Fellow, Microbiology
Uniformed Services University
Dr. S. Stephanie Garcia-Buntley is a microbiology postdoctoral fellow at the Uniformed Services University (USU) in Bethesda, MD. Passionate about STEM education and diversity, she regularly teaches, participates in science outreach (seminars, science fair judge, exposing K-12 to science), mentors students, and serves on the STEM committee of a local elementary school. Her long-term career goals include influencing STEM education policy and promoting STEM diversity programs. Sandra is interested in infectious diseases and novel prevention strategies. As a graduate student and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), she elucidated the impact on the microbiome and dental caries by a small molecule capable of dispersing Streptococcus mutans biofilms. At USU, she utilizes inhibitors to determine how nutrient availability affects the growth of Lyme disease pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi.

 

12. Theresa M. Geiman, Ph.D.Theresa M. Geiman, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Biology Loyola University Maryland
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology
Loyola University Maryland
Dr. Geiman completed her undergraduate studies in Biochemistry from McDaniel College, followed by a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Oncology from The George Washington University. She performed her thesis research at the National Cancer Institute-Frederick, generating and characterizing a knockout mouse model of the Lsh/Hells chromatin remodeling gene. She continued her research training with postdoctoral fellowships at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Cancer Institute at NIH. Her research focuses on studying proteins involved in epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, chromatin remodeling, and histone modifications through the use of in vitro cell culture and in vivo mouse models. Of particular interest is the study of how altering the expression of these epigenetic genes, and therefore the packaging of the cellular DNA, is involved in the processes of early mammalian development, cellular differentiation, and cancer. In addition to her research, Dr. Geiman is also involved in programs to encourage students to pursue careers in biomedical research, as well as those that enhance training for students interested in careers in cancer research.

 

13. Dr. Jeff GoldsteinDr. Jeff Goldstein Program Director, Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Center Director, Astrophysicist, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) Institute Director, Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education
Program Director, Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP)
Center Director, Astrophysicist, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE)
Institute Director, Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education
Dr. Jeff Goldstein is the creator of SSEP, and its Program Director. He is also the Center Director for the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), and the Institute Director for the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education. Jeff is a nationally recognized science educator, and planetary scientist, who has dedicated his career to the public understanding of science and the joys of learning. He oversaw the creation of the Center’s national science education initiatives, including the Voyage National Program. He led the inter-organizational team that permanently installed the Voyage model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, DC. He is a blogger at the Huffington Post, and writes Blog on the Universe. His planetary science research includes the development of techniques for measuring global winds on other planets using large telescopes on Earth. His research has produced the first direct measurement of the global winds above the clouds on Venus, and the first measurement of the global winds on Mars.

 

14. Benjamin Goodman, Ph.D.Benjamin Goodman, Ph.D. Senior Scientist NASA Research and Education Support Services
Senior Scientist
NASA Research and Education Support Services
Ben Goodman is a peer review administrator for NASA whose work currently focuses on program contained within the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate and the Space Technology Mission Directorate.  He has been a peer review administrator for seven years, and has gained a familiarity with a wide variety of NASA programs and research portfolios while recruiting and serving as referee for many panels and solicitations, especially those dealing with NASA life sciences programs.  Before working for NASA, he performed research on mitotic spindle assembly in Xenopus and cell culture while at Johns Hopkins University, where he received his Ph.D. in Cell Biology, and also served as a post-doctoral researcher at the NIH where he worked on microtubule post-translational modifications.

 

15. Carlos M. Guardia, Ph.D.Carlos M. Guardia, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Postdoctoral Fellow
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Charly obtained his BS, MS and PhD in Chemistry from University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Currently, he is a senior postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in Bethesda, Maryland in Dr. Juan Bonifacino’s group. During his first years at NIH, he studied the key aspects of organelle (lysosomes and mitochondria) transport driven by motor molecules (kinesins and dynein), not only in non-polarized cells but also in neurons. Now, he is actively working on a novel approach for controlling the positioning of different organelles within the cell, using engineered kinesins that can reversible detach from its cargo. With these tools, he is trying to understand the molecular mechanisms of intracellular traffic and provide insights into the neurodevelopmental disorders where these proteins have failed to work properly.

 

16. Mr. John HamelJohn Hamel Flight Operations Manager, Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Education Program Manager, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE)
Flight Operations Manager, Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP)
Education Program Manager, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE)
John is the Education Program Manager at the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education. He provides logistics and coordination support for NCESSE’s various programs, including SSEP, Family Science Night and Voyage. As the SSEP Flight Operations Manager, John provides logistics support for all phases of flight operations, as well as website content development, coordination support for the annual SSEP National Conference, organization of SSEP delegations attending a mission launch, and overseeing the Mission Patch design competitions for each SSEP Mission. John also has extensive experience with non-profit education organizations and a certified association management group. He spent the early years of his career working directly with pre-school and school-aged children.

 

17. Ms. Stacy HamelStacy Hamel Senior Flight Operations Manager, Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Senior Education Program Manager, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE)
Senior Flight Operations Manager, Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP)
Senior Education Program Manager, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE)
Stacy Hamel is the Senior Education Program Manager for the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, and also serves as the Senior Flight Operations Manager for the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP). As the Senior Flight Operations Manager, Stacy oversees all aspects of SSEP from the microgravity experiment design and proposal competition phase, to proposal review and selection, experiment refinement and validation for flight, launch, on-orbit operations, and experiment return to Earth for harvesting and analysis. In this capacity she also serves as the liaison to NanoRacks on all flight experiments and issues associated with NASA flight safety review. Stacy manages SSEP international participation through the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education. She oversees the Flight Operations team, including Flight Operations Managers and Coordinators.

 

18. Dr. Ann Hobbs
Biochemist and Patent Attorney (retired)
Ann Hobbs holds a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Maryland at Baltimore, and devoted a number of years to biochemical and physiological research on cation transport across cell membranes. A large part of her scientific career was spent at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Maryland Medical School. Dr. Hobbs subsequently earned a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law and became a patent attorney, her legal practice focusing on medical, biotechnological and pharmaceutical inventions. She is a former partner of Venable LLP, Washington, D.C.

 

19. Dr. Vincent HolahanVincent Holahan, Senior Level Advisor for Health Physics, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Senior Level Advisor for Health Physics
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Dr. Holahan is responsible for developing technical standards for issuing federal regulations and guidance to possess and use radioactive materials by academic, industrial and medical licensees. His specific research interest is public and occupational health and developing guidance to limit occupational and public exposure to ionizing radiation during routine and emergency situations. He also is the current U.S. Representative to the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. Before joining the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 1996, he was a senior program officer to the Board of Army Science and Technology at the U.S. National Research Council/National Academies of Science. Dr. Holahan completed 35 years of active and reserve service in the U.S. Army as nuclear medical sciences officer. His military research interests include the study of both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation and its impact on military performance. Dr. Holahan received a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry and a Bachelor of Sciences degree in biology from Gonzaga University. He received his doctoral degree in Radiology and Radiation Biology and an interdisciplinary degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Colorado State University. His graduate research interests include the combined use of heat and ionizing radiation as a new modality for cancer treatment.

 

20. Dr. Yanfen HuDr. Yanfen Hu, Professor, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, George Washington University
Professor, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
George Washington University
Dr. Hu received her PhD in Biochemistry from University of California at Berkeley. She was a faculty member at University of Virginia and University of Texas Health Science at San Antonio. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC. Dr. Hu’s lab studies breast cancer development with an emphasis on BRCA1, a tumor suppressor for breast and ovarian cancer.

 

21. Mr. Mike HulslanderMike Hulslander Adjunct Space Science Educator, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education How Things Fly Manager, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Adjunct Space Science Educator, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
How Things Fly Manager, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Mike is responsible for STEM education in the Museum’s How Things Fly gallery, which teaches visitors about the science of flight. Mike is also very involved in exhibition development at the Museum. Mike has worked in museums and zoos for more than 27 years, researching, writing, presenting and evaluating STEM programs for school groups, educators, families, and the general public.

 

22. Andrea JonesAndrea Jones, Public Engagement Lead, Solar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Public Engagement Lead, Solar System Exploration Division
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Andrea Jones is a planetary geologist and the Public Engagement Lead of the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. She shares NASA planetary science research and discoveries with audiences around the country and the world. Andrea is the Public Engagement Lead for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite onboard the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, and a member of two teams in NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute. Andrea is the Planetary Science Lead of Earth to Sky, a partnership between NASA, the National Park Service, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and Director of International Observe the Moon Night, an annual worldwide celebration of lunar and planetary science as well as our personal and cultural connections to the Moon.

 

23. Dr. Beatrice KondoDr. Beatrice Kondo, Program Coordinator/Senior Lecturer, Center for Biotechnology Education, The Johns Hopkins University, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences
Assistant Program Director/Senior Lecturer, Center for Biotechnology Education
The Johns Hopkins University, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences
Dr. Kondo’s undergraduate studies were at Loyola University in Baltimore. She then began a career in software test engineering, testing Hubble Space Telescope management and control software, before transitioning to the private sector, testing communications systems. Eventually the siren song of higher education lured her to a return into academia, and she completed a doctorate in Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2006. Her publications are in the area of molecular phylogenetics, with a special emphasis on closely-related species and the evolution of migration in New World Orioles. Recognizing a love of teaching during her graduate career, Dr. Kondo pursued a teaching post-doc at Cornell College in Iowa, famous for its unusual one-course-at-a-time curriculum. After this, she taught for four years in the undergraduate program of the Department of Biology at The Johns Hopkins University, before joining the Advanced Academic Programs, Center for Biotechnology Education at Johns Hopkins in Fall 2011. She serves as Asst. Program Director for the MS in Biotechnology as well as for the Post-master’s Certificate in Sequence Analysis and Genomics. Class she teaches in include Personalized Medicine and Genomics, Comparative Animal Physiology, and Advanced Cell Biology.

 

24. Dr. Juliette LecomteJuliette Lecomte Professor, Department of Biophysics Johns Hopkins University
Professor, Department of Biophysics
Johns Hopkins University
Juliette Lecomte is a Professor in the T.C. Jenkins Department of Biophysics in the School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She is a physical chemist by training and specializes in the application of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to proteins. Her research interests include the molecular evolution of the hemoglobin superfamily. Currently, her group seeks to understand the thermodynamic and dynamic principles underlying adaptation to extreme environments, specifically those encountered by deep-sea unicellular organisms.

 

25. Jonathan Lees, Ph.D.Jonathan Lees, Ph.D. Research Scientist. PlantVax, Incorporated
Research Scientist
PlantVax, Incorporated
Jonathan Lees is a scientist at PlantVax, a biotechnology company in Maryland. There he purifies recombinant proteins, which are expressed primarily in Nicotiana benthamiana plants (in the same family as tobacco). These various purified proteins are used in vaccine trials, primarily for the prevention of HIV transmission from mother to baby, or as components for products to rapidly detect the presence of organophosphates. During his PhD work in the Department of Biology at Johns Hopkins University, he studied how Fis1, a mitochondrial fission protein, dimerizes and possible implications to its function.

 

26. Dr. Jeff LeipsDr. Jeff Leips Professor, Department of Biological Sciences University of Maryland Baltimore County
Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
University of Maryland Baltimore County
Dr. Leips obtained his PhD from Florida State University in the field of evolutionary ecology and did his post doctoral research at NC State University in quantitative genetics. Research in the Leips lab is focused on understanding the genetic basis of aging using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model organism. Research interests include identifying genes that control age-specific changes in traits that directly contribute to senescence and ultimately limit life span. These traits include age-specific reproduction, immune response and energy storage. Some members of the research group are also studying the ecology of natural populations of Drosophila to understand how natural selection acts on genes controlling these traits. The overall goal is to combine knowledge of the natural history of this species with an understanding of the genetic architecture of these traits to help explain the maintenance of genetic variation in age-related changes in fitness in natural populations. For more information on research in the Leips lab follow this link: http://biology.umbc.edu/directory/faculty/leips/leips-lab/

 

27. Dr. Yuejin LiYuejin Li, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Morgan State University
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology
Morgan State University
Dr. Yuejin Li is Assistant Professor of Biology at Morgan State University. Dr. Li received her M.D. from China Medical University and Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from Florida Atlantic University, and completed her postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Research projects in her lab focus on the mechanisms underlying heart muscle dysfunction in heart diseases, including cardiomyopathies, ischemic-reperfusion injury, and cardiac toxicity of cancer treatment. The primary function of heart is to pump out blood in order to supply oxygen and nutrients to different parts of the body. Sarcomere is the basic contractile unit of the striated muscle (both skeletal and heart muscle). Any alternation of sarcomeric protein may potentially affect heart function. Recent study on heart tissue of heart failure patients revealed several novel post-translational modification sites on sarcomeric proteins. Currently, Dr. Li’s lab uses recombinant proteins, isolated muscle and mouse model to study whether and how modifications to those novel sites affect heart function in normal and diseased conditions.

 

28. Dr. George LiechtiDr. George Liechti Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology Uniformed Services University
Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Uniformed Services University
Dr. Liechti obtained his PhD in Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology from the University of Virginia before joining the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Uniformed Services University (USU), initially as a postdoctoral fellow, and subsequently as an assistant professor. His research interests focus on cell division, cell wall (peptidoglycan) biosynthesis / degradation, nutrient acquisition and persistence mechanisms in a number of clinically relevant bacterial pathogens, including Chlamydia trachomatis and Borrelia burgdorferi. His research group utilizes a variety of tools, including visualization (super resolution microscopy), biochemical, and genetic approaches to investigate how some pathogens have become completely dependent on us to meet their most basic metabolic needs as a result of millions of years of co-evolution with their human hosts. Identifying how microbes respond to stress is particularly important when investigating human pathogens. One of the major goals of Dr. Liechti’s research is to determine the mechanism(s) by which bacteria can overcome the effects of stress (resulting from antibiotic treatment or host cell cytokines) in order to help develop the next generation of therapeutics against highly prevalent, human-adapted bacterial pathogens.

 

29. Dr. David LivengoodDr. David Livengood
Dr. David Livengood is a biophysicist with a Ph.D. in Physiology. He has an extensive research background in biophysics in institutions such as the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, where he served as the chair of the Physiology Department and the Applied Cellular Radiobiology Department.

 

 

30. Dr. Tim LivengoodDr. Tim Livengood, Adjunct Space Science Researcher, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), Research Scientist, University of Maryland, Department of Astronomy
Adjunct Space Science Researcher, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE)
Research Scientist, University of Maryland Department of Astronomy
Dr. Tim Livengood is a senior advisor to SSEP and adjunct research scientist with the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education. He is a research scientist with the University of Maryland Department of Astronomy and works at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Tim has been a presenter and team leader for the Center’s public and school programs and has visited hundreds of classrooms. His current research uses a neutron-detecting instrument on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to measure deposits of water on the Moon, and uses infrared spectroscopy from telescopes on Earth to measure composition, temperature, and wind velocity in the atmospheres of other planets.

 

31. Hernan A. Lorenzi, Ph.D.Hernan A. Lorenzi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, J. Craig Venter Institute
Assistant Professor
J. Craig Venter Institute
Hernan Lorenzi is an Assistant Professor in the Bioinformatics Department. His research is focused on the use of genomic, transcriptomics and metagenomic approaches to study evolution, diversity and host-pathogen/microbiome interactions of protozoan, viral and bacterial organisms relevant to human health. In this context, his lab is studying the role of genome diversity and human microbiome in host-pathogen interactions and protective immunity in Toxoplasmosis and Malaria. In addition, his team is also studying the interplay between host genetics, the environment and the human microbiome by looking at the impact of human genome diversity, long-term space travel and different kind of diets on the human microbiome and health. In 2011 he was awarded a grant from NASA to investigate how long-term space travel affects the biodiversity of the population of microorganisms that inhabit inside and outside the body of astronauts (microbiome). Dr. Lorenzi received his Ph.D. in Parasite Genomics and Molecular Biology from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina in 2001, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University.

 

32. Elodie Mailler, Ph.D.Elodie Mailler, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institutes of Health
Dr Elodie Mailler obtained her PhD in Life and Health Sciences at the University of Strasbourg in France and specialized in virology and the study of host-pathogen interactions. She is currently engaged in cell biology research at the NIH in the laboratory of Dr. Juan Bonifacino. During her first years at NIH, she studied the Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) Nef interactome and the role of the host autophagy machinery on HIV-1 infectivity. Now, she is actively working on autophagy, a critical process for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. She is trying to decipher the source of the autophagosome membrane, the molecular mechanism used to close this organelle and the function of ATG9A, the only multispanning membrane component of the core autophagy machinery.

 

33. Dr. Mollie ManierMollie Manier, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, George Washington University
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
George Washington University
Mollie Manier’s research investigates the evolution of giant sperm and sperm storage organs in fruit flies of the genus Drosophila. Fruit fly males have some of the longest sperm known, up to 5.8 cm in one species, 20 times longer than the fly itself. Dr. Manier’s research investigates the relationship between sperm structure and function, the genetics of sperm length, and how sperm morphology interacts with the female’s sperm storage organ, which can be even longer. The Manier lab also uses the fruit fly to study how the gut microbiome affects learning and how alcohol consumption in parents can affect alcohol sensitivity in progeny and grand-progeny.

 

34. Marguerite Matthews, PhDMarguerite Matthews, Biomedical Workforce Policy Analyst, Ripple Effect Communications, Inc.
Health Program Specialist, Office of Programs to Enhance Neuroscience Workforce Diversity
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Marguerite Matthews, PhD is a health program specialist in the Office of Programs to Enhance Neuroscience Workforce Diversity at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). As a program specialist, Dr. Matthews supports NINDS diversity efforts and programs that provide neuroscience research training and career development for students and early career neuroscientists. Prior to NINDS, she was a 2016-2018 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Matthews received her BS in biochemistry from Spelman College and her PhD in neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral neuroscience at the Oregon Health & Science University.

 

35. Dr. Todd MillerDr. Todd Miller Associate Professor, Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences Director, Weight Management & Human Performance Lab Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University
Associate Professor, Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
Director, Weight Management & Human Performance Lab
Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University
Todd A. Miller is an Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Dr. Miller is an internationally renowned expert in Strength Training for athletic performance and health. His early focus on the influence of strength training on athletic performance evolved into an interest in how human beings respond to long-term space travel. To learn more, Dr. Miller has used animal models to investigate the deleterious effects of microgravity on physiology, and how those effects can be countered, and played an integral role in a multi-year NASA project that included flying an experiment on the ill-fated Columbia shuttle in 2003.

 

36. Dr. Meera MurgaiDr. Meera Murgai, Tenure-track Investigator, National Institutes of Health
Tenure-track Investigator
National Institutes of Health*
Meera Murgai’s research centers on perivascular cell plasticity and heterogeneity in the metastatic microenvironment. Most recently, her efforts have focused on employing single cell sequencing, immunofluorescent imaging, and computational methods to elucidate the stromal cell populations that play pro- and anti-tumor roles in pre-metastatic and metastatic microenvironments.
*Dr. Murgai is serving in her personal capacity

 

37. Travis O’Brien, Ph.D., M.Ed.Travis O'Brien, Ph.D., M.Ed., Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, George Washington University Medical Center
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology
George Washington University Medical Center
Dr. O’Brien has been involved in education at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level for 20 years. He directs the Physician Assistant Program and graduate pharmacology courses at the GWU School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He is also the co-director of the Reproductive Medicine and Endocrinology course in the GWU MD program and provides numerous lectures throughout the other courses in the MD curriculum. Dr. O’Brien also directs the graduate course in pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine and has authored numerous publications on the topic. His research is focused on translational medicine and the development of predictive pharmacogenomic/toxicogenomic biomarkers in minority populations.

 

38. George J. Papanicolaou, Ph.D.George J. Papanicolaou, Ph.D., Research Geneticist and Program Director, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health
Research Geneticist and Program Director, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
National Institutes of Health
George J. Papanicolaou is a research geneticist at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, with a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the University of Michigan. He has led TOPMed and leads the WGS, Methylation, RNA-seq, Metabolomics, and Proteomics data generation efforts. He is the Program Director for CHARGE and participates in multiple collaborations, such as a member of the NIH-NASA working group and serves on the Educational Committee for the International Genetic Epidemiology Society.

 

39. Natalie Porat-Shiliom, Ph.D.Natalie Porat-Shiliom, Ph.D., Earl Stadtman Investigator, Thoracic and Gastrointestinal Malignancies Branch, National Cancer Institute
Earl Stadtman Investigator, Thoracic and Gastrointestinal Malignancies Branch
National Cancer Institute
Dr. Porat-Shliom’s laboratory in the National Cancer Institutes is focusing on mitochondrial biology in the liver using different light microscopy techniques. She received her B.Sc. in biology, M.Sc. in neurobiology and Ph.D. in cell biology from Tel-Aviv University, Israel. Her postdoctoral training was performed at the NIH where she specialized in intravital microscopy studying mitochondria. In 2018, Dr. Porat-Shliom joined the National Cancer Institute, NIH as an Earl Stadtman Investigator. To learn more, visit the lab website.

 

40. Debbie ReynoldsDebbie Reynolds, Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, STEAM Integration Specialist Teacher, Baldwin-Whitehall School District
Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow
STEAM Integration Specialist Teacher, Baldwin-Whitehall School District
Deborah Reynolds holds a B.S. in Biology, a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a STEM focus, and a K-12 School Principal Certification. Passionate about STEM education, she is a STEM Integration Specialist in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District, but is currently on an education sabbatical while serving as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow in Washington, DC. Debbie has been placed at the Naval Surface Warfare Center- Carderock Division in West Bethesda where she is working in the STEM and Outreach Program to help develop and enhance Navy-relevant STEM content, engage students in the STEM workforce pipeline, and promote the importance of STEM literacy on a national level. Debbie is a member of the Space Educator Crew at Space Center Houston, a Solar System Ambassador with NASA/JPL, and a Teacher Liaison with the Space Foundation. Debbie was the 2015 Junior Achievement Educator of the Year, a 2017 Chevron/Steelers Leader in the Classroom Awardee and the 2019 Carnegie Science Award Middle Level Educator of the Year.

 

41. Courtney J. Robinson, Ph.D.Courtney J. Robinson, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biology Howard University
Associate Professor of Biology
Howard University
Courtney J. Robinson is an Associate Professor of Biology at Howard University. She earned a B.S. in Microbiology from Xavier University of Louisiana, and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. From 2008-2011 she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. Her research explores the role of the gut microbiota in insect health and transmission of disease, as well as microbial communities associated with abiotic hosts. She is the director of the Science Education Alliance – Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science course at Howard. Courtney is also the recipient of two subcontracts from the Department of Energy, through which Howard students conduct research in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. As co-PI of the NSF-funded Howard University Science Teacher Certification Program, she also is helping to develop a program to certify Biology and Chemistry majors to teach science in DC Public Schools.

 

42. Amra Saric, PhDAmra Saric, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institutes of Health
Amra obtained her BSc in Chemistry and Biology and PhD in Molecular Science at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. She is currently engaged in cell biology research at the NIH in the laboratory of Dr. Juan Bonifacino. Her interests lie in protein and membrane trafficking – the mechanisms by which proteins and entire organelles are maintained at the right place at the right time in cells. To study these phenomena, she employs genetic tools to detect and disrupt trafficking pathways in cultured mammalian cells and observes the effects by using confocal fluorescence microscopy and biochemistry.

 

43. Dr. Margaret ScullDr. Margaret Scull Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics University of Maryland, College Park
Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
University of Maryland, College Park
Margaret Scull obtained her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009. After completing her post- doctoral research at the Rockefeller University, she joined the faculty at the University of Maryland – College Park as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Scull’s lab works at the interface of virology and cell biology. Specifically, her research focuses on virus-host interactions in the airway epithelium – the primary target for infection by influenza virus and other clinically relevant respiratory viruses. Her research uses a variety of tools, including microscopy, deep sequencing technology, viral genetics, and in vitro primary cell model systems to understand mechanisms of host restriction and innate defense against viral infection. In addition to her work in the lab, Dr. Scull has been active in science education Outreach, including after school mentoring in STEM education and volunteering as both an educator on the BioBus mobile laboratory and as a judge at science fair competitions in the New York City area.

 

44. Dr. Daniel SerranoDr. Daniel Serrano Faculty Specialist, Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP) University of Maryland
Senior Faculty Specialist, Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP)
University of Maryland
Daniel Serrano is a Faculty Specialist at the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP), where he works in program administration, grant proposal advising/mentoring, and science outreach initiatives. He completed a B.S. in Biochemistry at Virginia Tech and an M.S. in Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics (CBMG) at UMCP. During his PhD work in the Biological Sciences program at UMCP, Daniel studied the optimization of targeted therapeutic delivery using nanocarriers and also the interactions between blood clots, blood cells, and the walls of blood vessels. In his current role at UMCP, Daniel works with the Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics (CBMG) Department to organize a University System of Maryland SSEP community. He has been Community Program Director in USM’s Mission 10, 11 and 12 to ISS.

 

45. Dr. Marcia A. ShofnerDr. Marcia A. Shofner, Lecturer, Department of Entomology, College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, University of Maryland
Senior Lecturer, Department of Entomology, College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences
University of Maryland, College Park
Dr. Shofner is a member of the faculty in the department of entomology at the University of Maryland. She received her Ph.D. in zoology from UMD with an emphasis on ecology. She teaches ecology and evolution courses, including the introductory course for majors and upper level ecology. She also develops and teaches online courses for Masters programs in Chemical and Life Sciences and directs the Professional Studies in Applied Entomology program. She works with a weekly STEM tutoring club at a local elementary school run by undergraduate biology students called Turtle and Eagle Science Club which not only promotes STEM coursework, but provides long-term mentorship to students who might not have considered college in their future. Within all this student interaction, she works with colleagues as they redesign the introductory course to include active learning and peer instruction led by undergraduate learning assistants (ULAs). As an ecologist, she works with stream invertebrates- specifically meiofauna – and has an interest in the role these animals play in the trophic structure of streams. Plus, she has an abiding love for tardigrades.

 

46. Dr. Patricia SimmonsPatricia Simmons
Dr. Patricia Simmons recently completed a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship, working in the Engineering Directorate at the NSF. She is formerly Professor and Head of the Department of STEM Education at NC State University, the Orthwein Professor of Life-long Learning in the Sciences at the University of Missouri, and Professor at the University of Georgia. She received a BS in Education, a Masters in Biological Sciences, and a PhD in Science
Education. Much of her scholarship has focused on the role of technology as viable and valuable learning and research tools in science education, and more recently on policy in science and in STEM education. Simmons was awarded over $50 million in externally funded federal and private grants for research, teacher education, and education projects. Simmons has served as Chair of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, President of the National Science Teachers Association, and President of the Association for Science Teacher Education. She also received several national awards for excellence (AAAS Fellow, Gustav Ohaus Award for Outstanding College Science Teaching, and the NSTA Distinguished Service to Science Education).

 

47. Dr. Julia SlocombJulia Slocomb, Neuroscientist
Neuroscientist
Julia earned her B.S. in Biology with a minor in English Literature at Villanova University and her Ph.D. from the Cellular, Molecular, Developmental Biology and Biophysics program at Johns Hopkins University. During her graduate work she was also part of the National Institutes of Health’s Graduate Partnerships Program, allowing her to complete her dissertation work in the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Neuronal Circuits and Behavior Unit. Her dissertation focused on the neuronal circuits that drive survival behaviors, such as feeding. While at NIDA, Julia used optogenetics, chemogenetics, and in vivo two-photon endomicroscopy to identify and modulate neurons throughout the brain that drive food intake. Between her undergraduate and graduate degrees, Julia spent 5 years managing interdisciplinary clinical research studies for the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine’s Department of Neurology. Throughout her research career she has been involved with developing novel biomedical tools and devices. She is interested in helping to improve the transition of basic and clinical research discoveries to the bedside. In her spare time she works as an editor of science fiction and fact articles to help bring cutting edge science to the public.

 

48. Dr. Michelle Starz-GaianoDr. Michelle Starz-Gaiano Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences University of Maryland Baltimore County
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
University of Maryland Baltimore County
Dr. Starz-Gaiano investigates the genetic control of animal development. In particular, her studies focus on understanding how cells adopt different identities and move through complex environments. She uses the vast genetic tools developed in fruit flies to identify new molecules involved in these processes. Interestingly, many of the same genes that regulate development in flies are required in the development of other animals, including humans. Currently, much of the work from her research group focuses on the regulation of the Janus Kinase and STAT molecular signaling pathway. Dr. Starz-Gaiano earned a bachelor’s degree from MIT, a PhD from NYU, and completed postdoctoral work at Johns Hopkins Medical School before starting at UMBC in 2008.

 

49. Dr. Pushpa TandonDr. Pushpa Tandon, Program Director, Cancer Imaging Program, National Cancer Institute
Program Director, Cancer Imaging Program
National Cancer Institute
Dr. Pushpa Tandon received her Master’s in Biochemistry and her Ph.D. in Neurochemistry, from the University of Lucknow, India. Dr. Tandon is currently a Program Director, within the Cancer Imaging Program, and the Administrative Deputy Director, of the Quantitative Imaging Network, an international Network for development of quantitative imaging tools for prediction of tumor response to treatment, at the National Cancer Institute, Maryland, USA. She has been working in the field of Cancer Imaging for over 25 years and has developed and manages several international programs and collaborations around the world. She was involved with the establishment of low cost, point-of-care technologies for cancer program at NCI and currently manages several of the international project under it . She has been a mentor to several Ph.D students and enjoys working with students at all levels. Her main interests are cancer imaging, cancer biomarkers, inflammation and nanotechnology. Dr. Tandon is interested in the holistic approach to medicine. She was awarded the United States Embassy Science fellowship in summer 2018 to develop a bilateral Indo-US bilateral program on Indian Traditional medicine and cancer. She has published over 50 peer review articles and several book chapters.

 

50. Shaolei Teng, Ph.D.Shaolei Teng, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Biology Howard University
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology
Howard University
Dr. Teng received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Clemson University, and completed his postdoctoral training in Bioinformatics and Genomics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Dr. Teng’s research interests are to develop and apply bioinformatics approaches for analyzing the genetic variations associated with human diseases and discovering biological knowledge hidden in the massive data sets. His group at Howard University is currently focused on three research areas including next-generation sequencing, machine learning and protein structure modeling. Dr. Teng is active in education including volunteering as a science fair judge, teaching bioinformatics courses, and mentoring graduate and undergraduate students. Learn more about Dr. Teng by visiting his webpage at: http://www.biology.howard.edu/home.html.

 

51. Dr. Harri VanhalaDr. Harri Vanhala Adjunct Space Science Researcher, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education Senior Scientist, Arctic Slope Technical Services
Adjunct Space Science Researcher, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
Senior Scientist, Arctic Slope Technical Services
Originally from Finland, Harri received his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Oulu. Harri has worked in various research and education organizations in the Unites States for 20 years. He is a Senior Scientist at Arctic Slope Technical Services, where he works with NASA’s Space Technology and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorates to help select new space technology projects for development and experiments for flight to the International Space Station. His science research focuses on the use of computer simulations to investigate the origin of the Solar System and the formation of stars and planetary systems across the Universe. His science education activities have included hundreds of visits to grade K-12 classrooms, conducting teacher training workshops, teaching college courses, and presentations to families and the public—he is one of the presenters for the Center’s Family Science Night program at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

 

52. Jason T. Wan, Ph.D.Jason T. Wan, Ph.D., Program Director, Mineralized Tissue Physiology Program, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Program Director, Mineralized Tissue Physiology Program
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Jason Wan, PhD, is Director of the Mineralized Tissue Physiology Program at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Part of his role at NIDCR is to oversee basic, translational, and preclinical studies on bone and tooth projects. Prior to joining NIDCR, Dr. Wan was with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the NIH. He obtained his doctoral degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania and has conducted research on metalloenzymes and proteins involved in inflammatory pathways. He enjoys biking and fishing in his spare time.

 

53. Mr. Jake WeissmanJake Weissman Graduate Assistant, Biological Sciences Graduate Program University of Maryland
Graduate Assistant, Biological Sciences Graduate Program
University of Maryland
Jake Weissman is a graduate student in the Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics specialization of the Biological Sciences Graduate Program at the University of Maryland College Park. His work is centered on the never-ending battle between bacteria and their viral predators and how bacteria tune their defenses to fit the pathogenic environment around them. He is advised by Drs. Bill Fagan and Philip Johnson, who both have primarily theory-driven labs and largely focus on building statistical and mathematical models of ecological and population genetic phenomena. Jake has been involved in outreach programs since his time as an undergraduate where he ran his college’s math circle for middle school students and has spent time working with the Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics.

 

54. David WilliamsDavid Williams, Acting Head, NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive, Goddard Space Flight Center
Acting Head, NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive
Goddard Space Flight Center
Dave is a planetary scientist at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and the acting head of the NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive, one of NASA’s deep archives for spacecraft data. Much of the older data in the archive is incomplete, on obsolete media, and/or has insufficient documentation to allow for optimal scientific use. One of Dave’s projects is to restore these data and collect enough information to create metadata that will make the data permanently accessible to researchers. He also works on documenting older missions and instruments for historical and scientific purposes, and archiving the data steadily coming in from currently operating missions. Dave received his B.S. in Geophysics from Binghamton University and his Ph.D. in Geophysics and Space Physics from UCLA.

 

55. Dr. Kol ZaremberDr. Kol Zarember National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases National Institutes of Health
National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases
National Institutes of Health
Kol Zarember obtained his PhD from the New York University School of Medicine and performed postdoctoral research at Genentech, Inc. before moving to the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Zarember is currently the Scientific Operations Manager of the Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology and his research interests focus on the recognition of microbes by the human immune system and on how the innate immune system counters invasion by pathogens. Through studying patients with various rare genetic alterations in immunity, he works to better understand how neutrophils, the most abundant white blood cell in the circulation, prevent infections and contribute to other aspects of inflammation and human biology including atherosclerosis.

The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks LLC, which are working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.