How to Join an AWG

GeneLab is recruiting members for Analysis Working Groups to analyze NASA omics data!

NASA’s GeneLab Project is recruiting investigators, bioinformaticians, graduate students, and postdocs to participate in Analysis Working Groups (AWGs) that will investigate specific subsets of omics data from experiments conducted onboard the International Space Station, the Space Shuttle, as well as ground-based research with relevance to spaceflight (e.g. radiation or unloading/weightlessness).

GeneLab is a science collaboration initiative and data system effort that provides a workspace with tools to analyze and visualize omics data. GeneLab has established the AWGs with the goal of maximizing the generation of new knowledge from these rare and complex spaceflight datasets.

The project has established four AWGs – scientific groups of excellence focused on analyzing spaceflight-relevant omics data within the GeneLab Data System (GLDS). Below is a list of the groups and their leads:

  • Animals (Mammals and Non-mammals) – Sylvain Costes
  • Plants (Arabidopsis, Mizuna) – Matthew Geniza
  • Microbes (eukaryotic, prokaryotic) – Jonathan Galazka
  • Multi-omics strategies – Afshin Beheshti

The primary activity of each AWG will be to establish analytical processes to generate higher-order data from data in the GLDS, with relevance to one or more specific application areas. For example, the AnimalAWG will analyze all data relevant to mammalian systems (human, mouse, rat, etc.). The multi-omics group will focus on gaining new knowledge using systems biology approaches: e.g. how do transcriptomics and proteomics compare within the same dataset? What are the common molecular signals induced by spaceflight across the various species?

The AWG participants will help assess and improve the effectiveness of GeneLab through intensive utilization of data analysis tools. These investigations are anticipated to lead to one or more scientific publications, as well as implementation of specific data visualization strategies to disseminate new knowledge from these analyses.

A kick-off meeting for the AWG was held January 25, 2018 at the Human Research Program Investigators’ Annual Workshop in Galveston, TX, and virtually. Members from all five AWGs met in this first session. Following, each AWG has met separately in monthly teleconferences to become familiar with datasets and tools in the GLDS, and to provide initial feedback on how to gain new knowledge from the data. In April 2018, all AWGs met in-person for a two-day workshop to finalize the establishment of processing pipelines. The GLDS data processing will take place during summer 2018 with GeneLab hosting 10 student interns at NASA Ames Research Center. Students will be encouraged to submit their most significant findings to the annual meeting of the American Society for Gravitation and Space Research, October 31 – November 3, 2018, and to join the conference to support training sessions for the introduction of the GeneLab toolshed. We anticipate the most exciting results to also be submitted for publication.

If you are interested in participating, and/or if you have students with strong bioinformatics skills who might also be interested, please review the GeneLab Analysis Working Groups Charter and send an email to with name of the group (see list above) in the subject line. Interested scientists having the required specialized capabilities/qualifications to support the work described in AWG charter are asked to submit a capability/qualification statement. There is no required font size and/or type designated for this Capability/Qualification Statement. Submit your response electronically in PDF format. The response must include the following: 1) Contact: name, affiliation, address, phone, e-mail, and website (if applicable). 2) Subject area expertise. Please provide a concise description of your expertise in terms of omics analyses including a list of relevant work and publications performed in the past five years. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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