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What is the AWG Symposium?

To explore deeper into space, it is crucial that we learn how our bodies change and adapt to the unique environment of space. The Open Science Data Repository-which includes data from GeneLab and the Ames Life Sciences Data Archive (ALSDA)-helps scientists understand how the fundamental building blocks of life itself change from exposure to microgravity, radiation, and other aspects of the space environment. The purpose of the Open Science Analysis Working Groups (AWGs) is to offer comprehensive feedback on the data housed within OSDR and leverage it for subsequent analysis purposes. The AWGs are comprised of scientists with diverse backgrounds and is subdivided into six main areas of expertise (Plant, Animal, Microbes, Multi-omics, ALSDA, and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning - AI/ML).

Occurring on May 1 – 2, 2024 from 9 am – 2pm PT, this free virtual event is open to the public and will allow attendees an opportunity to hear about some of the exciting open science stemming from the Analysis Work Group (AWG) community. Under the overarching theme of "Bridging Space Biology and Advanced Technologies," the symposium will feature keynote addresses from Shawna Pandya, Kellie Gerardi, and Chris Sembroski, along with scientific presentations from AWG members that have expertise in artificial intelligence/machine learning, plant biology, systems biology, microbiology, and space medicine. If you are intrigued by the science occurring in the AWGs, then we would love for you to join! Learn more about how to join the AWGs during the event.

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Meeting Agenda Details


9:00 am – 9:15 am PT: Opening Remarks - Lauren Sanders, PhD, NASA Ames Research Center

9:15 am – 10:15 am PT: Keynote Speakers - Shawna Pandya, MD and Kellie Gerardi

10:15 am – 12:15 pm PT: 20 Minute Talks

  • 10:15 am – 10:35 am: “Cell-Free Mitochondria and cf-mtRNA: Unveiling Their Role in Muscle Loss and Stress Response During Spaceflight” - Verónica Castañeda (Universidad de los Andes)
  • 10:35 am – 10:55am: “Understanding how space travel affects the female reproductive system” - Begum Mathyk, MD (University of South Florida)
  • 10:55 am – 11:15 am: “DAG validation through machine learning” - Robert Reynolds, PhD (KBR/NASA Johnson Space Center)
  • 11:15 am – 11:35 am: “Identification of conserved, gravitropic genes and pathways across plant species using the Plant Reactome Knowledgebase” - Sushma Naithani, PhD (Oregon State University)
  • 11:35 am – 11:55 am: “Beyond Earth's Boundaries: Navigating the Telomere Odyssey of Space Plant Longevity and Immortality at the ISS and on Lunar Regolith Simulant” - Borja Barbero Barcenilla, PhD (Texas A&M University)
  • 11:55 am – 12:15 pm: “Enabling Earth and Space Microbiome Science Advancements and Innovation through Interagency Collaborations” - Julia Kelliher, PhD (Los Alamos National Laboratory; National Microbiome Data Collaborative)

12:15 pm – 12:40 pm : BREAK

12:40 pm – 1:55 pm: 10 Minute Talks

  • 12:40 pm – 12:50 pm: “GLARE: Discovering hidden patterns in spaceflight transcriptome using representation learning” - Alex DongHyeon Seo, MS (USC Information Sciences Institute)
  • 12:50 pm – 1:00 pm: “A deep next-generation sequencing dive into how biofilms are damaging international space stations and posing a serious threat to astronauts' health” - Mehwish Rehman, MS (National University of Science and Technology, NUST, Islamabad, Pakistan)
  • 1:00 pm – 1:10 pm: “Explainable Vision Transformers: Empowering BPS Microscopy Data Classification” - Frank Soboczenski, PhD (University of York & King’s College London)
  • 1:10 pm – 1:20 pm: “Tackle the Incomplete Data Challenge in Space Biology by Employing AI/ML and Digital Twin” - Jian Gong, PhD (University of Wyoming)
  • 1:20 pm – 1:30pm: “Multifactorial impact of spaceflight leading to Parkinson’s disease-like molecular signatures” - Nilufar Ali, PhD (Boise State University)
  • 1:30 pm – 1:40 pm: “A Transcriptomic Approach to Understand Pharmacogenetics of Mice Exposed To Spaceflight Conditions” - Jette Ritz (International Space University & Karolinska Institutet)
  • 1:40 pm – 1:50 pm: Q & A Session

1:55 pm – 2:00 pm: Closing Remarks - Lauren Sanders, PhD, NASA Ames Research Center


9:00 am – 9:15 am PT: Opening Remarks - Sylvain Costes, PhD, NASA Ames Research Center

9:15 am – 10:00 am PT: Keynote Speaker - Chris Sembroski, MS

10:00 am – 12:10 pm PT: 20 Minute Talks

  • 10:00 am – 10:20 am: “Comprehensive and Integrative Single Cell Multi-omics Analysis of the Immune System of Private Mission Astronauts” - JangKeun Kim, PhD (Weill Cornell Medicine)
  • 10:20 am – 10:40am: “Spaceflight Induced Universal Cross-Species Mitochondrial Dysfunction” - Joseph Guarnieri, PhD (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia)
  • 10:40 am – 11:00 am: “Filling a gap: application of astronaut iPS cell-derived models for development of personalized countermeasures” - Masafumi Muratani, PhD (University of Tsukuba, Japan)
  • 11:00 am – 11:20 am: “Bridging Expertise for Space Biology: NASA Open Science Data Repository’s Analysis Working Groups” - Paola Castano, PhD (University of Exeter)
  • 11:20 am – 11:40 am: “RadLab: A Comprehensive Database and Analysis Toolkit for Space Radiation Measurements Relevant to Space Radiation Biology” - Kirill Grigorev, PhD (Blue Marble Space Institute of Science / NASA OSDR)

11:40 pm – 12:10 pm: BREAK

12:10 pm – 1:55 pm: 10 Minute talks

  • 12:10 pm – 12:20 pm: “Cross-Kingdom analysis on the effects of radiation in spaceflight” - June Somsanith
  • 12:20 pm – 12:30 pm: “Systemic Genome Correlation Loss as a Central Characteristic of Spaceflight” - Anurag Sakharkar (University of Sasketchewan)
  • 12:30 pm – 12:40 pm: “RubisCO in Space: Examining Carbon Fixation Efficiency in Microgravity Environments” - Alessandro Paz-Hernandez (Purdue University)
  • 12:40 pm – 12:50 pm: “Forms of Circulating Extracellular Mitochondria (exMT) in Space Medicine: Victims, Heroes, or Sentinels?” - Andrés Caicedo, PhD (Universidad San Francisco de Quito, USFQ)

12:50 pm – 1:00pm: BREAK

  • 1:00 pm – 1:10 pm: “Cardiovascular Outcomes in Humans Exposed to Microgravity: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis – Preliminary Data” - Mattias Neset, PhD (McGill University)
  • 1:10 pm – 1:20 pm: “Lab Medicine in Space” - Saswati Das, MD (ABVIMS & Dr RML Hospital)
  • 1:20 pm – 1:30 pm: “Leveraging Natural Language Processing to Analyze Experiment Cross-Relations: A Study Using GeneLab and ImmPort Repositories” - Cristian Randieri, PhD (eCampus University)
  • 1:30 pm – 1:40 pm: “Using animal models to understand the cellular mechanisms underlying spaceflight induced changes to skeletal muscle” - Jessica Braun, MS (Brock University)
  • 1:40 pm – 1:55 pm: Q & A Session

1:55 pm – 2:00 pm: Closing Remarks - Sylvain Costes, PhD, NASA Ames Research Center

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