GeneLab and Space Biology staffed an exhibit booth at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), December 12-15, 2015 in San Diego, California. An estimated 9000 attendees participated in a packed schedule over five days. During the three exhibit days, over 200 visitors engaged NASA scientists to learn more about the cell biology research NASA supports and hear about the upcoming funding opportunities for the GeneLab Innovation Awards and the Space Biology program.
Many new investigators who visited the booth were introduced to GeneLab and encouraged to explore the omics data sets currently available in the data system. Also on hand was a disposable flowpath assembly for demonstrating NASA’s spaceflight cell culture capabilities of the Bioculture System.
Of the visitors to the booth, approximately 50% were junior or senior researchers looking for grant funding opportunities, 30% were post-doctoral candidates seeking fellowship opportunities, 10% were students seeking internships and the final 10% were fellow exhibitors who were for-profit companies seeking information on how to do business with NASA. There was also interest from several senior researchers wanting to learn about accessing space-flown rodent tissues through the Biospecimen Tissue Sharing Program.
NASA representatives from Ames Research Center who participated in staffing the booth included: Sandy Dueck, Elizabeth Keller, Sigrid Reinsch, Elizabeth Blaber, and Eduardo Almeida. The interest level from the ASCB attendees at the 2015 annual meeting was very high, with a number of booth visitors expressing surprise and excitement that NASA engages in, and funds cell biology research. Sandy Dueck also participated in a workshop entitled “Simple Social Media for Scientists”, for promotion of GeneLab through scientific social media networks.
In addition to the exhibit booth, NASA scientist Dr. Sigrid Reinsch presented a poster on GeneLab titled “GeneLab: A systems biology platform for spaceflight omics data.” Space Biology Principal Investigators Drs. Elizabeth Blaber and Eduardo Almeida presented their co-authored poster, “CDKN1a/p21 regulates load-dependent stem cell-based osteoprogenitor differentiation into mineralized tissue.”
Dr. Reinsch also participated in a workshop entitled “Foundational Cell Biology: Making BIG Data Accessible for Teaching and Learning.” There were approximately 100 people in attendance at the workshop, mostly college and university professors. Dr. Reinsch briefly presented a synopsis of GeneLab. The participants were very impressed with the open nature of the database, and there was general interest to use the GeneLab datasets for classroom learning. Several participants with systems biology expertise were pleased to hear that there will be future funding for analysis proposals.
For conference information, please visit http://www.ascb.org/2015meeting/
GeneLab Proposal Winners Rely on Open Science Data to Advance Space Biology October 2016