ASGSB Biology Bridging Earth and Space
Volume 23, Number 2
Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology
ASGSB GOVERNING BOARD
Dear ASGSB Family:
Ken Souza, President
NASA Ames Research Center
On behalf of ASGSB President Ken Souza and the ASGSB Governing
Danny Riley, President-Elect Board, I am pleased to invite you to the 23rd annual meeting of our society.
Medical College of Wisconsin The meeting will be held at the NASA-Ames Conference Center on October
David Chapman, Secretary-Treasurer 25-28, 2007. The fact that we will meet this year is a testament to the
dedication of all of you and your strong desire to maintain continuity during
Paul Todd, Immediate Past President these tumultuous times.
The meeting will have three exciting and timely symposia:
Tom K. Scott, Executive Director • Astrobiology: Understanding Life in the Solar System, chaired by
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Carl Pilcher, NASA Astrobiology Institute Director, with talks by
David DesMarais, “Astrobiological Exploration of the Surface of
Gail Bingham—2009 Marshall Porterfield—2009
Mars”; Rocco Mancinelli, “Survival of Microbes in Space: Experi-
Utah State University
mental Tests of Panspermia”; and others.
Simon Gilroy—2007 Janet Powers—2009 • Science for Small Satellites, chaired by NASA Ames’ John Hines,
Pennsylvania State DB Consulting Group Deputy Chief, Small Spacecraft Division Ames, with talks by John
University Rummel, Michael McGinnis, Macarena Parra, and Tony Ricco.
Diana Jennings—2009 April Ronca—2007 • Radiation Biology, chaired by our own Paul Todd, Chief Scientist,
NASA Institute for Wake Forest University Techshot, Inc., with talks by Greg Nelson, “Neurological Effects of
Advanced Concepts Galactic Cosmic Rays”; Marc Mendonca, “Acute Effects of Solar
Joe Tash—2008 Storm Protons in Combination with Space Flight Factors”; and
David Klaus-2007 University of Kansas
University of Colorado Medical Center
Wenonah Vercoutere—2007 Students will have the opportunity to present their work and participate in
Richard Mains—2008 Wenonah Vercoutere-2007 the graduate and undergraduate poster competition with a new twist: Every
Mains Associates NASA Ames Research Center student presenter will give a one to two minute briefing (the why, the what,
Sarah Wyatt—2008 and the wow) of their research to the assembled crowd prior to the poster
Anna-Lisa Paul—2008 Sarah Wyatt—2008
University of Florida session. Stay tuned for more details.
In addition, students will also have the option of presenting their work in
oral format in one of the four concurrent oral sessions. Look for a check box
Thaddeus Fulford-Jones, ASGSB-SA President
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
on the abstract submittal form if you want to be considered for this.
(continued on p. 2)
Lockheed-Martin, Inc. Techshot, Inc.
Moffett Field, CA Greenville, IN
23 RD ASGSB
ASSOCIATE CORPORATE MEMBERS
A NNUAL M EETING ISSUE
Bionetics Corporation ORBITEC, Inc. C ALL FOR P APERS (p. 3)
Kennedy Space Center, FL Madison, WI O NLINE A BSTRACT S UBMISSION I NFO (p. 4)
R EGISTRATION F ORM (p. 7)
Mains Associates, Inc.
Berkeley, CA S PECIAL B ADGING R EQUIREMENTS (p. 2)
H OUSING I NFORMATION (p. 2)
Universities Space Research Association S TUDENT T RAVEL A WARDS /O THER O PPORTUNITIES (p. 6)
Division of Space Life Sciences
Houston, TX P RELIMINARY P ROGRAM (p. 5)
C ANDIDATES FOR P RES -E LECT & B OARD (p. 9-10)
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF NEWSLETTER EDITOR Moffett Field, CA
Stanley Roux Janet V. Powers October 25-28, 2007
ASGSB 23rd Annual Meeting Invitation (continued)
We will have special lunch presentations on “Career the Klumpke-Roberts Award by the Astronomical
Choices in Space Life Sciences” and the “ISS National Society of the Pacific in recognition of his outstanding
Laboratory” concept. As usual, all presenters will be invited contributions to the public understanding and apprecia-
to submit their work as an extended abstract in the tion of astronomy, Seth is also Chair of the International
Society’s peer-reviewed journal, Gravitational and Space Academy of Astronautics SETI Permanent Study Group.
Biology. All in all, for a meeting that almost did not happen,
Of course we will have plenty of time for networking this should be one of our most exciting gatherings so far.
and interaction, including a reception on Friday evening See you there!
and our banquet on Saturday evening. We are fortunate to
have as our banquet speaker Seth Shostak, SETI Institute Chris
Senior Astronomer, who will answer the questions, “When Chris Brown, NC State University
Will We Find ET, and What If We Do?” Recently awarded 2007 ASGSB Annual Meeting Chair
ASGSB Annual Meeting
Special Requirements for Access to NASA Ames
The 23rd annual meeting of the ASGSB is taking place October The 2007 ASGSB meeting will be held
25-28, 2007 on a US government facility, i.e., the NASA Ames Thursday, October 25 through Sunday,
Research Center’s Research Park, Moffett Field, CA. Access to the October 28, 2007, at the NASA Ames
Research Park requires the following: Research Center, Moffett Field, CA.
We have 45 rooms at the NASA Lodge
US citizens: available at $55/night (http://
A government issued photo identification is required, e.g., a US naccenter.arc.nasa.gov/lodging.html) and
state driver’s license, US passport. 50 "Basic Rooms" at the Lodge at $45/
Access to the Research Park is through the main gate to NASA night. Contact the Reservation Desk at 650-
Ames Research Center. A security guard at the main gate will 603-7101.
request photo identification upon entrance. Inform the guard that Please note that the number of rooms is
you are attending the ASGSB meeting at the NASA Conference limited, so make your reservations early
Center, Bldg 3. The guard will provide directions to the Confer- and identify yourself as an attendee at the
ence Center and to the NASA Lodge, if you reserved a room there. ASGSB meeting.
No special NASA badge is required for access. The following hotels are nearby to the
Notice of attendance at the ASGSB meeting must be provided no The County Inn: http://
later than July 31, 2007. Please submit the notice with your www.cyberstars.com/city/mountain-
contact information (email and phone number) to view.ca.us/hotels-motels/county.html
firstname.lastname@example.org. Once received, you will be contacted
and asked to provide additional information that must be reviewed Hampton Inn and Suites - Mountain View/
and approved by NASA. Within 4-6 weeks, you will be notified of Silicon Valley: http://www.bayareahi.com
your approval for access to the NASA Research Park.
Access to the Research Park is through the main gate to NASA Others in the general area, but not as
Ames Research Center. A security guard at the main gate will close to the NASA Conference Center as
request photo identification upon entrance, e.g., a driver’s license or the above, can be found at http://
passport. Inform the guard that you are attending the ASGSB vams.arc.nasa.gov/resources/hotels.html
meeting at the NASA Conference Center, Bldg 3. The guard will
provide directions to the Conference Center and to the NASA
Lodge, if you reserved a room there. No special NASA badge is
required for access.
Non-US citizens are requested to bring original I.N.S. green
card or original passport and visa with them. Photocopies will
not be accepted.
2 Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007
ASGSB 23rd Annual Meeting
Call for Papers
The American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology is pleased to issue a call for papers
for its 23rd Annual Meeting. The meeting will take place October 25-28, 2007, at the NASA Ames
Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. A preliminary program may be found on page 5.
You are invited to submit an abstract electronically no later than
July 6, 2006,
using one of the abstract forms found on the ASGSB website, http://www.asgsb.org. Please be sure
to follow carefully the abstract submission instructions found at the website.
Abstracts will be compiled and published in a volume of Gravitational and Space
Biology, to be distributed at the meeting.
TOPICS FOR ANNUAL MEETING
Advanced Life Support
Animal Development, Growth and Genetics
Animal Gravity Sensing and Neurophysiology
Animal Regulatory Physiology
Animal Structural Systems/Muscle Physiology
Plant Development, Growth and Genetics
Plant Gravity Perception/Transduction
Space Biomedical Research
Space Flight Experiment Results
Student Poster Competitions
The Program Committee will select from the submitted abstracts those to be included in the oral
sessions. All other abstracts are assigned to an appropriate poster session based on the authors’
selected topic areas.
New for this year, four student abstracts will be selected for oral presentations. If you wish
to be considered for an oral presentation, please check the box on the Student Abstract Submission
form on the ASGSB web site. Students will continue to participate in the competitions by presenting
their papers as posters. Another new feature this year is that each student will have the opportunity
to give a one- to two-minute oral presentation at the beginning of each Student Poster
Competition session. See also the article on page 6.
Abstracts scheduled for poster sessions will be assigned poster board space. The area allotted
for each poster will be 40” h x 60” w. NOTE that this size is different from previous year’s poster
space. Please plan accordingly!
ASGSB membership is not required for presentation of papers or posters. Due to publication
deadlines, the Program Committee may be unable to include an abstract submitted later than the date
Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007 3
ASGSB 23rd Annual Meeting Abstract Submission Information
ASGSB 2007 Meeting
Electronic Submission of Abstracts
Abstracts Due Friday, July 6, 2007
Meeting participants are encouraged to submit their abstract for the 2007 ASGSB meeting using the
electronic abstract submission system, which was implemented for the 2004 annual meeting. With this
system, you will not need to email your abstract, mail disks, or FAX submission forms. The online system
streamlines the submission process for you and for the Program Committee.
STEP 1: Preparation of the Abstract
The process in the electronic submission of abstracts is designed to be convenient for members submitting
abstracts and to assist the Program Committee in preparation of the program and abstract edition of
Gravitational and Space Biology, which will be distributed at the annual meeting.
The first step of the process is to prepare your abstract. The preparation of the abstract is similar to the
procedures of past years. Go to the ASGSB website
and click on the link to “Electronic Submission of Abstracts,” which takes you to STEP 1. Follow care-
fully the instructions for preparation of the abstract, which also include information on hardcopy dimen-
sions and a sample of a finished abstract in the boxes used for publication in the program and abstract
edition of Gravitational and Space Biology.
STEP 2: Submission of the Abstract
Once you have prepared your abstract, you are then ready to submit it. Members and other non-student
presenters should click on the “Member” button to submit your abstract. All students (graduate students,
undergraduate students, and high school students) should click on the “Student” button. Student poster
presentations are eligible for a variety of awards.
Then complete the requested information on the electronic abstract submission forms.
The online form will allow the author to upload the abstract as a file from the author’s computer to the
server using a file upload script built into the ASGSB webpage (a “browse” button on the form allows the
author to browse their computer to find/select the file to upload; abstract would be prepared as a word
processing document as in the past). For student abstracts, the scripts will automatically send an email
request to the faculty sponsor for confirmation.
Students: NOTE new for the 2007 annual meeting is the opportunity for students to submit their
abstracts for consideration to be one of four student abstracts selected for oral presentations during
the concurrent Oral Sessions. If you wish to be considered for selection for an oral presentation,
check the box on the “Student” online form.
Tom K. Scott Award: Students wishing to compete for this award should check the appropriate box
on the “Student” online form and provide a letter of nomination. Note there are other requirements
for consideration for this award. See article on page 6.
The Publications Committee thanks Tim Mulkey for his work on the abstract submission system.
4 Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007
ASGSB 23rd Annual Meeting Preliminary Program
ASGSB 23rd Annual Meeting
NASA Ames Research Center
October 25-28, 2007
Thursday October 25, 2007
12:00 noon - 6:00 pm Registration Desk Open
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm ASGSB Governing Board Meeting
Friday October 26, 2007
7:30 am - 5:00 pm Registration Desk Open
8:00 am - 8:30 am Welcome and Opening Remarks
8:30 am - 12:15 pm Symposium I: Astrobiology
Chair: Carl Pilcher
12:15 pm - 2:00 pm Lunch
Special Session on the ISS National Lab Concept
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm Poster Sessions I & II
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Committee Meetings
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Reception
Saturday October 27, 2007
8:00 am - 5:00 pm Registration Open
8:30 am - 12:15 pm Symposium II: Science for Small Satellites
Chair: John Hines
12:15 pm - 2:00 pm Lunch
Special Session on Career Choices in Space Life Science
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Concurrent Oral Sessions I & II
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm Poster Session III
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Banquet and ASGSB Business Meeting
Sunday October 28, 2007
7:00 am - 8:30 am ASGSB Governing Board Meeting
8:00 am - 3:00 pm Registration Desk Open
8:30 am - 12:15 pm Symposium III: Space Radiation Biology
Chair: Paul Todd
12:15 pm - 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm Concurrent Oral Sessions III & IV
3:30 pm Adjourn
Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007 5
ASGSB 23rd Annual Meeting Information
Opportunities for Students
Tom K. Scott Student Scholarship Award Oral Presentation Opportunities for
Opportunity Students at the 2007Annual Meeting
The Tom K. Scott Student Scholarship is an annual Students will have the opportunity to present
award made by ASGSB to a student demonstrating their work and participate in the graduate and
excellent academic and/or professional achievements, undergraduate poster competition with a new twist:
and an outstanding potential for success in, and interest Every student presenter will give a one to two
in, the field of gravitational and space biology. This minute briefing (the why, the what, and the wow) of
award recognizes students for their past accomplish- their research to the assembled crowd prior to their
ments as well as encourages further excellence in the assigned Student poster session. We expect this to
field. In addition to the opportunity for giving an oral take approximately 1 hour. After the short briefings,
presentation at the annual meeting, recipients will students will stand by their posters for the remainder
receive a monetary award and a certificate recognizing of the Student Poster Competition sessions.
the award. The scholarship is open to all graduate In addition, four students will have the option
students pursuing a Masters, Ph.D., and/or M.D. in a of presenting their work in oral format in one of the
field related to gravitational and space biology. four concurrent oral sessions. Look for a check box
Applicants must not have completed their degree at on the Student abstract submittal form if you want
the time of the application deadline, but may have to be considered for the oral presentation selection.
graduated by the time the award is presented. Although
applicants need not be members of ASGSB, the student Chris Brown
selected must become a member before being presented 2007 ASGSG Annual Meeting Program Chair
the award and the recipient is required to attend the
ASGSB annual meeting. Previous recipients of the Tom
K. Scott Award are not eligible to apply for the scholar-
The applicants should submit an abstract of their
Student Travel Awards
proposed presentation for the annual meeting, using the
Student abstract submission form on the ASGSB This year the ASGSB has again received
website (http://asgsb.org), by the abstract submission funding to support student travel stipend
deadline of July 6, 2007. Applicants should check the awards. The 2007 Program Committee encour-
box on the form indicating they wish to compete for the ages students who would like to present a poster
Tom K. Scott Award. In addition, they should include an at this year’s meeting at Ames Research Center
updated C.V. that includes educational history, research to apply for this support.
experience, publications, professional activities, etc. A Applications are welcome from both
letter of nomination/recommendation highlighting graduate and undergraduate students. Individual
attributes of the candidate for the award should be awards will be $250, and will be presented by
written and submitted by a faculty member who knows check at registration. Note that awards are
the applicant well. The recommendation letter should be given on a first come, first served basis.
submitted directly by the recommender in electronic Students will be notified of their award status
form. Both the C.V. and the recommendation letter by August 22nd in order to meet early registra-
should be submitted by email to David Klaus, tion deadlines for the meeting.
email@example.com. To apply, check the appropriate box on the
For more information and/or questions, please Student poster abstract submission form on the
contact David Klaus, firstname.lastname@example.org. ASGSB website.
6 Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007
ASGSB 23rd Annual Meeting Registration Form
Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007 7
ASGSB 23rd Annual Meeting Information
Call for ASGSB Award Nominations
As we begin to anticipate the rest and relaxation that comes with summer vacations, it is time once
again for our thoughts to turn to, yes—those colleagues whose contributions to the fields of gravita-
tional and space biology and to the ASGSB deserve special note. The Awards Committee is actively
soliciting from the membership at large nominations for the awards listed below. Please take a moment
to review the categories, think about a deserving candidate, and send your nomination!
1. Thora W. Halstead Young Investigator Award: This award was
established in 1994 to honor a young scientist who exemplifies Thora’s
drive and enthusiasm for science, and who has made significant contri-
butions to the field of space biology. The award is dedicated to Dr.
Thora Halstead in recognition of the years she spent encouraging young
scientists to enter Space Biology research. Previous recipients: Jay
Buckey (1994), Mary Musgrave (1995), John Kiss (1996), Edwin Miller
(1997), Simon Gilroy (1998), Gloria Muday (1999), Volker Kern
(2000), Brenda Klement (2001), Markus Braun (2002), David Klaus
(2003), April Ronca (2004), Elison Blancaflor (2005), and Marshall
Porterfield (2006). Thora Halstead during the
2001 Annual Meeting.
2. Orr Reynolds Distinguished Service Award: This award is made to
an individual for distinguished service to the Society “above and
beyond the call of duty.” The award is made in honor and memory of
the late Dr. Orr Reynolds, one of the founding charter members of the
Society. Previous recipients: Don Beem (1990), Marc Tischler (1992),
Pat Russell (1993), Ron Dutcher & Janet Powers (1994), Peter
Kaufman (1995), Stan Roux (1997), Mary Musgrave (1998), Ken Souza
(1999), Jackie Duke (2000), Tim Mulkey (2001), Bob Phillips (2002),
Tom Dreschel (2003), Gerald Sonnenfeld (2004), Chris Brown (2005),
and Cary Mitchell (2006).
Orr Reynolds at the 1989 ASGSB
Meeting in Cocoa Beach, FL. 3. Founder’s Award: This award is the highest honor given by the
Society. It is made to a member of the Society for distinguished
scientific contributions to and leadership in the field of gravitational and space biology. Previous
recipients: Orr Reynolds (1989), Nello Pace & Allan Brown (1990), Bob Krauss & Milt Smith (1991),
Thora Halstead (1992), Abe Krikorian (1993), Frank Salisbury & Don Whedon (1994), Emily Holton &
Andreas Sievers (1996), Joe Musacchia (1997), Jack Myers (1998), Gerald Sonnenfeld (1999), Charles
(Chuck) Wunder (2000), Mike Evans (2001), Ken Souza (2002), Bill Knott (2003), Terri Lomax (2004),
Stan Roux (2005), and Charles Tipton (2006).
The final recipients of these awards are chosen by the Awards Committee, in consultation with the
current President and the Executive Director. Nominations from the Society’s membership are very
strongly encouraged and may be submitted to Chair Emily Holton or to the Executive Director.
Nominations should be accompanied by the name and professional address of the candidate and a
short Curriculum Vitae, along with a paragraph outlining why the candidate is particularly deserving of
the award. The most direct mechanism for submissions is by e-mail to Dr. Emily Holton, Chair, Awards
Committee, email@example.com. The deadline for receiving nominations is 5 p.m. PDT, October
8 Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007
ASGSB 23rd Annual Meeting Elections
ASGSB Elections at 2007 Annual Meeting
This fall, the ASGSB membership will be electing a new President-Elect and four new Governing
Board members from the slate of candidates listed below. Full nomination statements will be available
prior to voting.
Candidates for President-Elect for Fall 2007
Jeffrey R. Alberts, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psycho- D. Marshall Porterfield, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor
logical and Brain Sciences at Indiana University, at Purdue University where he holds academic appoint-
Bloomington, as well as President, Star Enterprises, ments in the departments of Agricultural & Biological
Inc. In both capacities Jeff has been active in space Engineering, Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, and
and gravitational biology. As a university-based PI, Biomedical Engineering. He currently is the director of the
he conducted three flight experiments (Cosmos Bindley Bioscience Center-Physiological Sensing Facility
1514; NIH-R1, and NIH-R2) with rodents, all where work is focused on the development and application
involving sensory and behavioral development, as of biosensor technology and MEMS devices for agricul-
well as maternal processes. Through Star Enter- tural, environmental, biological, and medical research
prises, he has developed space flight hardware for applications. His research interests include biophysically
rodent experimentation. After Star’s projects were mediated plant stress responses during space flight, and
terminated by NASA’s re-budgeting, Jeff became a cellular signaling for gravisensing in single cells. He has
founding member of the Exploration Life and worked on Chromex-03, 04, and 05, Astroculture 04, and
Medical Sciences Coalition (ELMS) to promote the CUE space flight experiments, and recently flew the
space life sciences funding. He has served on the Microfluidic Ion Sensor Array experiment on the C-9. He
ASGSB Board, is currently on the Public and has served as an editor for Advances in Space Research,
Legislative Affairs committee, and is an Interna- and now serves on the editorial board for the journal
tional Society for Gravitational Physiology (ISGP) Sensors. He is currently a member of the ASGSB Govern-
Trustee. He has administrative experience at Indiana ing Board (2006-2009) and the Finance Committee (since
University as Associate Vice President for Research. 2004). He first joined ASGSB as a doctoral student in 1993,
He maintains an active research program in develop- and was honored with the Thora W. Halstead Young
mental psychobiology. Investigator Award in 2006.
Candidates for ASGSB Governing Board for Fall 2007
Ted A. Bateman, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor, Elison B. Blancaflor, Ph.D., is an Associate
Department of Bioengineering, Clemson University, Professor and Director of the Cellular Imaging
Clemson, SC, where he directs the Osteoporosis Biome- Facility at the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation,
chanics Laboratory. The lab focuses on space flight- Ardmore, Oklahoma. In addition to his duties as the
biomedical research, collaborations with NASA, and head of a multi-user microscopy facility, Dr.
testing potential therapies for osteoporosis. His first Blancaflor carries out research on the role of the
experience with space biology was as a participant in the cytoskeleton and lipids in plant development,
Space Life Sciences Training Program (SLSTP) in 1991. hormone responses, and plant-microbe interactions.
Since that summer at Kennedy Space Center, his education He has published his work in multiple journals
and career have been spent chasing a better understanding including PNAS, Plant Physiology, Plant Journal,
of the impact of the space environment on living systems. and Plant Cell. The research and microscopy
Ted is interested in space radiation-induced bone loss, services conducted in Dr. Blancaflor’s laboratory
countermeasures for space flight bone loss, space flight as have been funded by the Noble Foundation, NASA,
a test-bed for biomedical disorders, and molecular thera- NSF, and DOE. He joined the ASGSB in 1993 and
pies for disuse osteoporosis. The opportunities NASA and was the recipient of the 2005 Thora W. Halstead
his ASGSB involvement (since 1995) afforded him as a Young Investigator Award.
student have shaped how he trains his own students.
Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007 9
ASGSB 23rd Annual Meeting Elections (continued)
J. David Dickman, Ph.D., is a Professor of Neurobiology at school Gioia moved to Purdue where she has been
Washington University in St. Louis, MO. His research working with Cary Mitchell as a postdoc and a member
addresses the neural mechanisms that govern the perception of of the NASA Specialized Center of Research and
motion, spatial orientation, and the appropriate production of Training in Advanced Life Support. Among other
motor stabilization responses. He is keenly interested in the things, she is researching energy efficient automated
ability of animals to quickly adapt to the introduction to novel LED lighting for off-Earth crop production and cultivar
environments, such as experienced in microgravity during and cultivation selection for plant-based life-support
space flight. He has served as a NASA-funded PI for 20 years systems.
and was fortunate to participate in two COSMOS flights (2044
and 2229) examining vestibular adaptation in adult rhesus Stephen J. Moorman, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor
monkeys to prolonged microgravity exposure. In addition, his of Neuroscience and Cell Biology at the Robert Wood
laboratory examines the effects of altered gravity exposure Johnson Medical School. He is also a Harvard-Macy
upon vestibular system development. As part of that effort, he Medical Education Fellow, a Research!America Science
flew an experiment on Endeavour STS-108 to examine Advocacy Fellow, and was a visiting fellow at the
embryogenesis in microgravity, with a specially designed on- Center for Advanced Studies in the Space Life Sciences
board centrifuge to simulate Earth gravity as a control. They at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole. He
found vestibular receptor synaptic formation significantly maintains two research programs, one investigating the
increased and afferent innervation patterns were smaller in fundamental role that gravity plays in regulating gene
microgravity developed embryos as compared to matched 1G expression and the other investigating the uses of
controls. His lab is currently conducting ground centrifuga- technology in medical education and student assessment.
tion experiments (with a chronic centrifuge built and housed He has been a member of ASGSB since 1998.
in his lab) to examine developmental, neurophysiolgical, and
behavioral adaptations in animals exposed to chronic Muneo Takaoki, Ph.D., is a Senior Researcher at the
hypergravity conditions during development. In addition to Space Environment Utilization Center of the Japan
research, he has served as a panel member and Chairman on Aerospace Exploration Agency. He received a degree in
numerous NASA advisory boards and funding study sections, science from the Kyoto University in 1976 and worked
since 1989. on immunology thereafter, including studying at the
Harvard Medical School. In 1988, Dr. Takaoki joined
Melissa Kirven-Brooks, Ph.D., is the Science Projects Lead the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. to devote himself
at the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) and an employee of to space biology. He has made major contributions in
Lockheed Martin Mission Services at the NASA Ames directing experiment integrations, hardware develop-
Research Center in California. Before joining the NAI, ments, and launch-site operations for STS-47 (SL-J) and
Melissa was a Project Scientist for three Shuttle experiments STS-65 (IML-2). He also conducted TR-IA sounding
and one ISS experiment and was the Science lead for the rocket experiments and the commercial production of
development of the SSBRP Incubator, and involved in the 3D clinostats. He moved to the Japanese space agency
development and testing of the SSBRP Cell Culture Unit. in 1999, and led scientific researches on cellular
Melissa’s research has involved testing of bone and muscle mechanoreception. He is now making an effort to
cells, Arabidopsis, yeast, and nematodes. She holds a Ph.D. develop joint research programs onboard the ISS with
from MIT and has been attending ASGSB meetings since Asia-Pacific regional countries.
Bruce D. Yost, Defouw Engineering, is currently a
Gioia Massa, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral research associate at Mission Manager in the newly established Small
Purdue University. She has been interested in growing plants Spacecraft Division at NASA Ames Research Center.
in space since junior high school agriculture class exposure to He is responsible for the integration, launch, and
space life science. She was a trainee in the Space Life operation of nanosatellites developed for space biologi-
Sciences Training Program (SLSTP) at Kennedy Space Center cal and exploration research. Over his career, he has
in 1995 where she worked in plant space biology. She has participated in many biological space flight experiments
been an ASGSB member since 1998. For her Ph.D., Gioia on Shuttle, Spacelab, and Mir, as well as other un-
worked with Simon Gilroy at Penn State on the interaction of manned platforms, and he continues to develop capabili-
touch and gravity in plant roots. While there she also served ties for experimentation in the space environment. His
as a project counselor for SLSTP and worked as the biology most recent accomplishment has been supporting the
team leader for a student designed and developed Get-Away- successful demonstration of a small, autonomous
Special payload that flew on STS-108 in 2001. After graduate satellite (GeneSat-1) in support of space biology.
10 Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007
ASGSB Public and Legislative Affairs Update
On April 18, 2007, a total of 27 congressional offices were visited, representing federal legislators across the United
States, and including members from the professional organizations of ASGSB, AIAA, FASEB, and AsMA. ASGSB and
other members advocated a “keep alive” budget for space life sciences for the upcoming FY08 appropriations cycle. Some
of the recommendations that were put forth are as follows:
• Policy: Assert a meaningful national commitment to a sustainable space life and physical sciences program and
implement ISS as a national lab.
• Institutional: Direct NASA to re-engage the scientific community as a whole, including life and physical sciences,
in an official advisory capacity.
• Budget: FY08: $77M “Keep Alive” down payment for future commitments, of which $39.5M is being asked as a
budget plus up in the FY08 NASA appropriations budget.
• Management: Move sciences out of NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) and reconstitute an
organizational entity in NASA for life sciences.
• Competitiveness: Support S.761 America Competes, which authorizes a funding increase for NASA basic science
and research in FY08.
Unlike prior year visits, the 110th congressional offices were very interested in the budget numbers and the breakout.
Recurring requests for follow-up budget information was prevalent. In previous years the visits were congenial, but there
was always indication that a budget plus up was out of the question. This year the congressional offices gave us indication
that the numbers were very reasonable, and the possibility of a plus up was not out of the question. The group remains
cautiously optimistic that there will be a plus up in FY08 appropriations bill.
Since the April visit, a letter was sent by Congress to President Bush calling for a space summit as a result of the
concern that America’s leadership in space could be threatened by a lack of resources devoted to the space program.
Also, during May-June, appropriators will continue to meet to develop the content of the FY08 appropriations bill.
Support by ASGSB members to contact Congress is very important during this time period. (See the letter below with
information on how to contact Congress and what to include in your correspondence.)
Cindy Martin Brennan and Chris Brown
Dear ASGSB Members:
Where there is life, there is hope--and we still have a little life in life science at NASA. The American
Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics has adopted Space Life and Physical Sciences as one of its top
policy issues, the National Academies Space Studies Board’s most recent newsletter has strong language
from its chair, and several powerful members of Congress have requested a meeting with President Bush on
the future of a balanced, robust space program.
Please take the following document (see next page) and turn it into a letter, an email, a fax, a phone
call, or a visit, and contact your Senators and Representatives.
Use the following links to get information about your Senators and Representatives:
ASGSB Public & Legislative Affairs Committee
firstname.lastname@example.org (continued on next page)
Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007 11
ASGSB P&LA Information Document for Contacting Congress
(continued from previous page)
By the end of FY07, proposed cuts in microgravity life and physical sciences will have nearly eliminated entire
research communities in the physical and life sciences, posing a direct threat to the future of the ISS as a national
laboratory (in effect, wasting billions of taxpayers’ dollars already invested in this important facility), increasing the
future risk and viability of the exploration vision, as well jeopardizing the United States’ superiority in space science
The American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology, comprised of hundreds of researchers who have been
engaged in exploration-related research for NASA in the microgravity life, biomedical and physical sciences are very
concerned about the future of research aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the termination of associated
ground-based research programs and the consequent negative impact on all NASA’s long-term research and develop-
ment necessary to enable the human exploration of space. Across the disciplines formerly sponsored by the Office of
Biological and Physical Research (OBPR), the downsizing over the last 2-3 years has negatively affected some 3,000
graduate students, and research communities that have taken a decade or more to form now face dissolution.
It has become clear that NASA has not been provided adequate resources to meet all of its obligations. These include
the remaining assembly of the ISS, ongoing and future ISS research to develop the essential enabling technologies to
leave low-earth orbit, and associated essential ground-based programs. At the same time, the agency must produce a
timely replacement for the Shuttle, while simultaneously flying Shuttle missions necessary to assemble and outfit the
ISS, along with laying the foundation to implement the President’s exploration vision. NASA’s options are severely
limited and, as a result, microgravity research programs have been targeted for crippling cuts.
Congress is urged to take a stand to insure that NASA has the ability to pursue its exploration mission while maintain-
ing robust, exploration-related research programs in the life and physical sciences. The minimum additional funding
necessary to keep these research communities functional and productive is on the order of $77 million for FY08, with
equivalent annual appropriations thereafter. To assist the Congress in requiring NASA to maintain minimum capacity
in the life and physical sciences, the following language is provided.
NASA APPROPRIATIONS LANGUAGE FOR LIFE AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES
Consistent with the NASA Authorization Act of 2005 (P.L.109-155) which expressly identified basic and
applied microgravity life and physical sciences as necessary parts of NASA’s research portfolio and two
National Academies reports which pointed out that a balanced set of programs should include core national
capabilities, “keep alive” funding is necessary to avoid decimation in key life- and physical-science disciplines.
Such research is essential for the fulfillment of the president’s exploration vision and must be restored to
minimally sustainable levels. Thus, this committee provides an increase in FY 08 of at least $77,000,000
(exclusive of funds for Multi-User Systems and Support) above the budget request, of which $39,700,000 is
directed toward strategic space life sciences and $35,300,000 is directed toward strategic space physical sci-
The $39,700,000 for space life sciences shall include a minimum of $12,200,000 for strategic, peer-reviewed,
ground-based research and related artificial-gravity facilities above currently supported facilities for radiation
and a minimum of $27,500,000 for strategic, peer reviewed, flight-based life-science research and long-duration
facilities on the International Space Station (ISS) or other platforms.
The $35,300,000 for space physical sciences shall include a minimum of $33,800,000 for strategic, peer-re-
viewed, ground-based research grants and $1,500,000 for ground based test facilities.
In addition, NASA shall formulate an external advisory panel to guide research priorities relative to explora-
tion life and physical sciences consistent with the National Academies studies. For these future space-based,
life- and physical-science flight activities, NASA shall plan the use of any combination of current or future
12 Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007
Actions Taken by the ASGSB Board at Spring 2007 Meetings
American Society for Gravitational and Space Susie Dakin reported that membership currently stands
Biology at 281.
Governing Board Meeting Minutes **
March 20 & 21, 2007 2007 Annual Meeting
Ken Souza noted that the November 2006 straw poll of
Tuesday, March 20, 2007 the membership gave the board a clear mandate to keep
the Society as it is but to reduce expenses. NASA Ames
Board members present: Kenneth Souza (President), Research Center (ARC) was chosen as the venue at
David Chapman (Secretary-Treasurer), Paul Todd which it would be easiest to retain the current meeting
(Immediate Past President), Danny Riley (President- format while keeping costs down. There is no charge for
Elect), Tom Scott (Executive Director), Gail Bingham, the use of the conference center, audiovisual equipment,
Diana Jennings, David Klaus (joined the meeting at or posterboards, and inexpensive housing is available on
2:40 p.m.), Richard Mains, Anna-Lisa Paul (joined the base and moderately priced housing in nearby hotels.
meeting as 1:36 p.m.), Janet Powers, Joseph Tash, Tom Scott and Wenonah Vercoutere are investigating
Wenonah Vercoutere, Sarah Wyatt other costs (catering and labor), and Vercoutere is
Board members absent: Simon Gilroy, J. Marshall coordinating with facilities personnel at ARC. Labor
Porterfield, April Ronca expenses (overtime) can be minimized by minimizing
Others present: Christopher Brown (Past Past set-ups and tear-downs. Possible layouts are being
President), Thaddeus Fulford-Jones (Student Associa- explored, based on an estimated attendance of 120;
tion President), Susan Dakin (Executive Secretary) workarounds are available to accommodate larger
numbers. The Society will probably need to provide
The meeting was called to order at 1:04 p.m. EDT by computers, as was done for the 2006 Annual Meeting.
Ken Souza. Souza reported that the reception is planned for the
Exploration Center. Access to the base will not be a
Approval of the Minutes of the Fall Board Meetings problem, though non–U.S. citizens will need to be
The minutes of the November 2 and 5, 2006, board provided badges in advance.
meetings were approved as corrected.
Treasurer’s Report Symposia
Dave Chapman reported that funds on hand as of Chris Brown reported that the meeting format will
March 19 were $33,397; for March through October include smaller oral sessions, poster sessions and student
2007, anticipated revenues were $20,550, and antici- poster competitions, and an education or career breakout
pated expenses were $29,239. These figures did not session or working lunch. There will be three symposia:
include any annual meeting revenues or expenses. The (1) Astrobiology, organized by Ken Souza and chaired by
projected surplus going into the annual meeting is Carl Pilcher (Director of the NASA Astrobiology
about $25,000, providing some latitude for meeting- Institute, at ARC), (2) Science for Small Satellites,
related expenses that will need to be paid before most chaired by Ken Souza, working with John Hines (Man-
of the meeting income is received. ager of the Astrobionics Integrated Program/Project
Ken Souza reported that the $25,000 NASA grant for Team, at ARC), and (3) Radiation Biology, chaired by
the 2007 annual meeting was expected to be approved Paul Todd, working with Frank Cucinotta (Director of
and received within the next one to two months. the NASA Space Radiation Health Project, at Johnson
Ken Souza reported that the Science for Small Satellites
** EDITOR’S NOTE: The minutes published here symposium will include enough science diversity to be of
have been excerpted and/or edited from the draft interest to small satellite manufacturers, who are inter-
version of the March 2007 ASGSB Governing Board ested in requirements. No speakers have been lined up
meeting minutes. Final approval of the complete draft yet, but there will probably be an overview of biotechnol-
minutes will be given at the next Board meeting, during ogy applications. Souza also reported on plans for the
the October annual meeting. Revisions/corrections
may be made before final approval. (continued on next page)
Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007 13
Actions Taken by the ASGSB Board at Spring 2007 Meetings (continued)
Astrobiology symposium, noting that the area has a Porterfield, Nancy Searby, and Paul Todd. Riley
high concentration of astrobiologists, and that the distributed a list of potential candidates for president-
symposium could attract a large number of them to elect and the board, which reflected a desire to reach
attend at least part of the annual meeting. He noted that out to plant and animal biologists, international
John Rummel and Michael New (Astrobiology, NASA members, and a range of disciplines, including astrobi-
Headquarters) are aware of the symposium and will be ology. The committee will meet again to consider the
invited. For the Radiation symposium, Francis potential candidates’ qualifications and prioritize the
Cucinotta will provide an overview, followed by list. Paul Todd moved that the board approve the list,
discussions of the three main risks in space radiation and the motion carried.
health: heavy-ion carcinogenesis, neurological and
behavioral effects, and acute effects of solar proton Reports of Standing Committees
storms. The target date for having identified sympo-
sium speakers is the end of April. Brown asked board Education
members to send names of suggested speakers for any Chris Brown reported that Lindsey Tuominen, the new
of the symposia to him, Souza, or Paul Todd. committee chair, is leading development of a session on
careers and career development for the 2007 Annual
2008 Annual Meeting Meeting, with a panel of people at various stages in
The 2008 joint meeting with the International Society their careers and from various types of organizations.
for Gravitational Physiology (ISGP) and the European He requested that board members suggest possible
Low Gravity Research Association, hosted by the panelists, who should be members already planning to
European Space Agency, June 22–28 in Angers, attend the meeting (to avoid travel expenses for the
France, has been announced in the newsletter. Paul panel). Ken Souza noted that many local people would
Todd, Jack van Loon, Chuck Fuller (representing be available from universities and industry. Gail
ISGP), and others have been working on the program. Bingham commented that the panel should reflect the
Four morning plenary sessions are planned, one on reality that many careers are devoted only partly to
current concepts of gravitational physiology (organized space-related research.
by Peter Norsk, Chairman of the ISGP Council of Action: Chris Brown will e-mail Lindsey Tuominen
Trustees), and three with specific themes. It is expected and Thaddeus Fulford-Jones to help coordinate plan-
that ASGSB will recommend the theme for at least one ning of the career development session for the 2007
of the symposia. Todd asked board members to send Annual Meeting.
him suggested topics by e-mail. One topic previously
suggested is signaling pathways in plants and animals.
Todd and Fuller will coordinate a request from ISGP Finance
and ASGSB to NASA for funding for students to attend
the meeting. Requests for publication support also need Dave Chapman reported that the Society came close to
to be coordinated. Anna-Lisa Paul suggested including breaking even on the 2006 Annual Meeting. He noted
possible sources of student travel grants in the newslet- that some suggestions for cost-cutting have already
ter. Thaddeus Fulford-Jones noted that universities tend been implemented, such as holding the spring board
to have very limited funds for undergraduate student meeting by teleconference and reducing annual meeting
travel. Chris Brown will check on whether state Space expenses, and stressed that such efforts need to be
Grant programs will fund international travel. carried forward. Paul Todd suggested running a model
Action: Paul Todd will work with Chuck Fuller to for the next four to five years to see what it would take
coordinate requests to NASA for funding for the 2008 to maintain a financial steady state and taking up the
meeting. issue of a dues increase at the fall board meeting. Gail
Action: Chris Brown will check on the availability of Bingham suggested that, given the research funding
Space Grant funding for student travel to international situation, the effect of a dues increase on the member-
meetings. ship should be estimated.
Action: Dave Chapman will study the Society’s
Nominating Committee projected finances for the next several years to deter-
In addition to Chair Danny Riley, members of the mine whether a dues increase is called for, taking into
Nominating Committee are Chris Brown, Marshall account the potential effect on membership retention.
14 Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007
Actions Taken by the ASGSB Board at Spring 2007 Meetings (continued)
Public and Legislative Affairs travel. Chris Brown suggested having a Space Grant
booth at the annual meeting.
Richard Mains has held a teleconference with Vice
Action: Chris Brown will follow up with Sarah Wyatt,
Chair Jeff Alberts and Secretary Erika Wagner. They
Anna-Lisa Paul, and Thaddeus Fulford-Jones to create
have four project concepts to propose to the commit-
a plan and procedure for including brief student talks in
tee in a teleconference in the next several weeks.
the 2007 Annual Meeting.
These include proactively revisiting allies on Capitol
Action: Chris Brown will investigate having a Space
Hill to maintain relationships; updating a handout with
Grant booth at the 2007 Annual Meeting.
talking points for Hill visits; pulling together a
content-management team for the Exploration Life
The meeting was adjourned at 2:50 p.m. EDT.
and Medical Sciences Web site; and creating a Hill
visit strategy and implementation plan to ensure that
members going to the Hill have resources they can use Wednesday, March 21
in ad hoc advocacy for ASGSB issues.
Board members present: Danny Riley (President-
Student Association Elect), Paul Todd (Immediate Past President), David
Thaddeus Fulford-Jones reported on the November Chapman (Secretary-Treasurer), Tom Scott (Executive
2006 Student Association meeting, which focused on Director), Diana Jennings, David Klaus, Richard
Society operations from the student perspective. Mains, Anna-Lisa Paul, Janet Powers, April Ronca,
Concern was expressed about how students should Joseph Tash, Sarah Wyatt
approach the field as a career, given the funding Board members absent: Kenneth Souza (President),
situation. The Association will continue to produce a Gail Bingham, Simon Gilroy, J. Marshall Porterfield,
newsletter and to publicize opportunities and events of Wenonah Vercoutere
interest to students, such as internships and meetings. Others present: Christopher Brown (Past Past
Also discussed was the possibility of giving students President), Thaddeus Fulford-Jones (Student Associa-
the opportunity to present papers at the annual tion President), Stanley Roux (Publications Committee
meeting. Chair) (left the meeting at 1:21 p.m.), Susan Dakin
Anna-Lisa Paul suggested engaging graduate students (Executive Secretary)
by choosing several abstracts submitted for the poster
sessions and offering the students the opportunity to The meeting was called to order at 1:04 p.m. EDT by
give a 10-minute talk. Fulford-Jones said that students Danny Riley.
would support this idea and asked whether this would
be possible for the 2007 meeting. Chris Brown raised
the issue of how the selection of abstracts for talks Reports of Standing Committees
would affect the poster competition. Sarah Wyatt Publications
noted the importance of considering logistics with
respect to the program booklet and not overburdening Stan Roux reported on a discussion with Chuck Fuller
the people organizing the sessions. Ken Souza (representing ISGP) concerning publications resulting
suggested adding one slot for a student in each from the 2008 joint meeting. The Publications Com-
session, and noted that the sessions could run a bit mittee recommends accepting the proposal that all
long on afternoons other than the day of the banquet. symposium speakers be invited to submit five-page
Paul suggested that when students submit abstracts, papers to the Journal of Gravitational Physiology, but
they be asked to check a box indicating interest in that speakers invited by ASGSB be asked instead to
being considered for a talk. Brown suggested that the submit full-length papers for publication in the 2009
abstracts be sent to the organizers of the relevant issue of Gravitational and Space Biology. Two-page
sessions, who would choose one student per session abstracts by members will be published only in the
for a brief talk. Journal of Gravitational Physiology; these abstracts
Danny Riley suggested that Student Association are screened for appropriateness and, if accepted,
members be encouraged to offer suggestions to their published as is. To maintain the continuity of Gravita-
state Space Grant consortia on how funds could be
spent on students, such as for support of meeting (continued on next page)
Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007 15
Actions Taken by the ASGSB Board at Spring 2007 Meetings (continued)
tional and Space Biology, it will be essential that clarified the timeline for the award; applications would
invited speakers commit to submitting papers. Richard need to be considered during July and a decision made
Mains moved that the committee’s proposal be by the end of August. Because of the timeline and the
accepted, and the motion carried. need to evaluate abstracts, it was agreed that the
Roux reported that only 7 two-page abstracts were recipient should be selected by a separate subcommit-
submitted for this year’s Gravitational and Space tee. Dave Chapman noted that corporate funding for the
Biology, down from about 18 in each of the past two award should be sought.
years. It was suggested that members be sent multiple Wyatt moved that the award guidelines be accepted as
e-mail reminders and that a reminder be posted on the written but with requirements (1) for a nomination and
Web site. (2) that the student make the presentation at the
Janet Powers reported that she and Roux have meeting in the year of the award. Anna-Lisa Paul
initiated the process of applying to have Gravitational proposed amending the motion to provide for adding a
and Space Biology indexed by the National Library of timeline to the guidelines. The amended motion
Medicine (NLM). There is no cost for this service; all carried.
the NLM requires is a free subscription. Roux will ask
Mary Musgrave to help complete the application.
Action: Stan Roux will ensure that members receive Old Business
multiple reminders of the deadline for submission of
Web-Site Update Procedure
extended abstracts for Gravitational and Space
Biology. Susan Dakin requested an electronic copy of the
Action: Stan Roux and Janet Powers will move proposed Web-site update procedure, so that she could
forward with an application to have Gravitational and make the previously agreed-upon changes and produce
Space Biology indexed by the NLM and will involve a final document.
Mary Musgrave in completing the application. Action: Richard Mains will send Susan Dakin the draft
Web-site update procedure, and she will revise it to
Strategic Planning reflect the agreed-upon policy.
Dave Klaus reported that the final version of the Creation of a Standing Communications Committee
Strategic Plan was distributed to the committee
members at the Annual Meeting. The changing NASA Richard Mains presented a concept for a standing
funding situation and uncertainties about the Society’s Communications Committee, which would consider all
future have made it difficult to proceed with strategic three of the Society’s main avenues of internal and
planning. He suggested that the committee structure external communication: publications, Web-site
be formalized at the 2007 Annual Meeting, and that content, and e-mail, and work on optimizing the
the committee then begin to work with the board on Society’s use of on-line communications. He noted that
implementation. He will be rotating off the board in the job of archiving information, keeping it current, and
November but has volunteered to continue as the making it available or distributing it is beyond what can
committee chair and will organize the committee at be handled by the Society’s management infrastructure
the 2007 Annual Meeting. and a volunteer Webmaster. He suggested creating a
standing Communications Committee with a formal
Awards committee structure and projects. The committee would
Sarah Wyatt asked for comments on the revised include members representing the Society’s current
guidelines for the Tom K. Scott Award. The consen- major types of communications and would be respon-
sus was that a student should be nominated by a sible for capturing, developing, and reviewing informa-
faculty member, who will provide a letter of recom- tion and prioritizing and coordinating updates for
mendation to be included with the submitted abstract. internal and external communications.
It also was agreed that the recipient’s oral presentation Mains agreed to serve as acting Chair to lead develop-
should be made in the year of the award. Janet Powers ment of a plan with detail on the committee’s func-
noted that to implement the award in 2007, it will tions, essential members, desired member qualifica-
need to be announced in the June newsletter. Wyatt tions, and operations. Dave Klaus volunteered to serve
16 Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007
Actions Taken by the ASGSB Board at Spring 2007 Meetings (continued)
as Vice Chair. Paul Todd moved that the report on would be sent several reminders and would be
the Communications Committee concept be ac- directed to the candidates’ statements on the Web site.
cepted, that Mains be authorized, with assistance of Voting by mail would mean that the 2008 election
his choice, to present an implementation plan and to would not need to be held in June at the meeting in
identify a committee chair, vice chair, and secretary, France. In order to implement voting by mail in 2007,
and to report to the board by e-mail before the next the board would need to amend the constitution..
board meeting. April Ronca and Diana Jennings Danny Riley moved that Scott and Dakin draft a
volunteered to serve on the committee, and Janet proposed amendment of the voting procedures, to be
Powers volunteered to serve as Secretary. The motion circulated to the board for comment and voted on in
carried. time to be implemented for the 2007 election. The
Action: Richard Mains will initiate development of motion carried.
an implementation plan for a standing Communica-
Action: Tom Scott and Susie Dakin will draft a
tions Committee, assisted by Dave Klaus, April
Constitutional amendment to replace the Society’s
Ronca, Diana Jennings, and Janet Powers and will
current voting procedures with procedures for voting
report to the board by e-mail before the next board
by mail or e-mail and will circulate the proposed
amendment to the board for comment, along with a
more detailed description of the proposed voting
Manual for Board Members. Paul Todd is still
collecting literature for inclusion in the manual and
expects that it will be ready for distribution at the fall
2007 board meeting.
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Materials for Recruiting Corporate Members. (AIAA) Hill Visit
Paul Todd reported he expects materials to be
Chris Brown reported ASGSB will send a team of
distributed to board members in time for recruitment
about nine members, including himself, Danny Riley,
efforts in April and May. He asked that board
and Paul Todd, to participate in the AIAA Congres-
members in a position to approach a particular
sional Visits Day, on April 18. The focus will be on
company notify either him or Tom Scott. Scott is
visits with committee staff. The message developed
maintaining a spreadsheet with a list of corporate
by the AIAA Life Sciences and Systems Technical
membership prospects, which will be distributed to
Committee is similar to ASGSB’s recent messages.
board members with the recruiting materials. Dave
Riley, Todd, and Brown will represent ASGSB as
Chapman noted that the lists of corporate sponsors on
well as AIAA in the meetings. Cindy Martin-Brennan
the Web site and in the newsletter have not been
is on the Technical Committee and is helping prepare
updated; he will provide updated information. Board
the meeting schedule. The delegation will provide a
members suggested several prospect companies.
write-up for the ASGSB newsletter and will share the
meeting materials with the Legislative and Public
Voting Procedures. Tom Scott and Susie Dakin have
Affairs Committee, and Brown will use them in
discussed the logistics of conducting the election by
creating a new “one-pager” for posting on the Web
mail or e-mail, to enable all dues-paying members to
vote (even if they do not attend the Annual Meeting)
and to eliminate the requirement that ballots be
The board agreed that the teleconference format for
signed. Dakin described a proposed voting procedure
the board meeting was very efficient.
whereby each member who had paid dues by a
predetermined cutoff date would receive by mail or e-
The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 p.m. EDT.
mail a ballot with a unique code, to be returned by a
deadline shortly before the Annual Meeting. The
ballots would be counted before the meeting, and the
results would be announced at the banquet. Members
Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007 17
News and Opportunities
NASA Selects Four New Members The Montana State University team is headed by John
of Astrobiology Institute Peters. Its focus is on the origin of life, investigating the role of
iron-sulfide compounds in the transition from the non-living to
NASA awarded in May five-year grants to four research the living world. This work will support the mission of NASA in
teams that will become new members of the NASA Astrobiol- the area of prebiotic chemistry and the development of signa-
ogy Institute (NAI). tures for terrestrial and extraterrestrial life.
The new multidisciplinary teams are led by the University Roger Summons leads the MIT team, which will investigate
of Wisconsin, Madison; the California Institute of Technology, requirements for the development of multicellular life in Earth’s
Pasadena; Montana State University, Bozeman; and the ancient past. They will concentrate on organic biosignatures
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. The five- preserved in the rock record and the state of the Earth’s early
year average grant size is approximately $7 million per team. atmosphere, and will investigate the critical genetic pathways
“These teams have proposed exciting research that is that constrained and supported early life while multicellularity
complementary to work being done by other NAI members,” developed.
said NAI Director Carl Pilcher, NASA Ames Research Center. “Each of these teams brings something important to
“The selection of these teams forms an excellent foundation for NASA’s overall portfolio in astrobiology, and to the future
entering the institute’s second decade.” success of missions in planetary science, astronomy and Earth
The University of Wisconsin team, headed by Clark science,” said Colleen Hartman, deputy associate administrator
Johnson, proposes to study organic and mineralogical signa- for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters,
tures and environments of life on Earth and other planets. This Washington.
team’s work focuses on technologies for the detection of The addition of these new teams brings the membership of
microbial life from its subtle effects on rock chemistry. These the NASA Astrobiology Institute to 16, selected with staggered
technologies will examine ancient rocks on Earth, paving the 5-year terms. The astrobiology teams are widely distributed
way for eventual instruments to search for signatures of life on throughout nearly 150 universities and other research institu-
Mars. tions, including numerous international affiliates.
The California Institute of Technology team, led by More than 500 research scientists work in these teams, and
Victoria Meadows, will extend research done within the NAI there is a strong focus on public education and the training of the
from 2001 to 2006. This team has developed a Virtual Plan- next generation of astrobiologists. The basic research carried out
etary Laboratory to explore the habitability and biosignatures of in the institute directly supports many NASA missions, such as
extrasolar, Earth-like planets. These scientists use computer exploration of Mars and the search for planets around other
models of planets with different sizes, temperatures and stars, including investigations of the habitability of other worlds.
atmospheres to investigate how the presence of life on such For more information about the NASA Astrobiology
planets could be detected telescopically. Institute, visit: http://nai.nasa.gov
Athletic Training Internship at KSC Fall 2007 University Art Contest: Life and Work
on the Moon
Applications are currently being accepted for athletic
training internships at Kennedy Space Center. Junior- or NASA invites college students to submit artwork to the
senior-level undergraduates enrolled in an athletic University Lunar Art Contest for the fall of 2007. The contest
training program may apply. Interns will work for the theme is “Life and Work on the Moon.” Students from
center’s RehabWorks Program. RehabWorks is a free, industrial design, architecture, computer design, and the fine
on-site, musculoskeletal rehabilitation service for arts are encouraged to participate.
employees suffering from both work- and non-work- Entries will be accepted in three categories: two-dimen-
related injuries. The internship will last one semester— sional, three-dimensional, and digital. All entries will be
approximately 14 to 16 weeks—and will involve selected judged not only on creativity and originality, but also on
students in all activities of the program. whether they depict a realistic scenario for the harsh lunar
The internship is part of the Kennedy Space Center environment. The contest gives students and faculty an
Volunteer Services Program. Although the opportunity is opportunity to form interdisciplinary teams to collaborate with
not a paid internship, participants will gain valuable science and engineering departments to produce the most
experience in a corporate and industrial work setting. well-informed art work possible.
Two internship positions are offered each fall, The contest opens in August of 2007, and all entries are
spring, and summer semester. Applications are due June due by December 1, 2007. Cash prizes, certificates of
29, 2007, for the fall 2007 semester internships. For more achievement, and exhibit opportunities are planned. For more
information, visit: http://rehabworks.ksc.nasa.gov/about/ information and entry requirements, visit: http://
18 Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007
News and Opportunities
NASA Awards Highest Medal to NSBRI Team Lead
NASA awarded Professor David F. Dinges the Distinguished Public Service Medal “for outstanding
contributions to improving the health, safety, and performance of human space flight in the behavioral
health and performance area.” The presentation was made May 10 at NASA Headquarters in Washington,
A NASA website describes the medal “as the highest honor NASA awards to a non-government
individual, and that is granted only to someone whose distinguished accomplishments contributed
substantially to the NASA mission, and that the contribution must be so extraordinary that other forms of
recognition would be inadequate.”
Dinges is professor and director of the Unit for Experimental Psychiatry, and chief of the Division of
Sleep and Chronobiology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of
Medicine. He currently serves as team leader for the Neurobehavioral and Psychosocial Factors Team of
the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI).
An expert in the biological limits of human performance relative to sleep and circadian biology, his
scientific work for NSBRI and NASA has focused on identifying technologies that improve performance
in operational settings and on identifying and preventing neurobehavioral problems in space. He is
currently directing an experiment supported by NSBRI involving aquanauts and astronauts participating in
the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 12 project in an underwater research
laboratory off the Florida coast.
Internationally renowned, Dinges is a corresponding member of the International Academy of
Astronautics and a member of the National Institutes of Health Council. He currently serves as president
of the World Federation of Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine Societies, and he was the 2004 recipient
of the first Decade of Behavior Research Award from the American Psychological Association. He is
currently editor-in-chief of SLEEP, the leading scientific journal on sleep research and sleep medicine.
Release also available at: http://www.nsbri.org/NewsPublicOut/Release.epl?r=97
Register for NASA’s NSPIRES Proposal Submission System
The NASA Human Research Program (HRP) announced at the February 2007 Human Research
Program Investigator’s Workshop that the HRP is planning on issuing two annual research solicita-
tions per year. One solicitation will be an annual joint NASA/NSBRI research announcement planned
for release in July of each year, while the second research solicitation will focus on space radiation
research areas and is planned for release in January of each year.
You are encouraged to check the NASA Research Opportunities Web Site (NSPIRES) at (http://
nspires.nasaprs.com) and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) website (http://
www.nsbri.org/ Announcements/index.html ) for upcoming NASA and NSBRI research solicitation
release information. Early registration in NSPIRES is recommended so that you can be notified of just
released NASA Research Announcements and NSBRI Request for Applications (RFAs) in your areas
of interest. In addition, registration will streamline the proposal preparation process.
Please note that all individuals named on the proposal’s cover page and the organization that
intends to submit a proposal must all be registered in NSPIRES before a proposal can be prepared and
submitted through the NSPIRES system.
NASA Research & Education Support Services
Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007 19
Life Sciences Calendar
June 14-16, 2007 Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society 2007 Annual Scientific Meeting, Kapalua, Maui, HI.
Further information: http://www.uhms.org/Meetings/AMMeetingsMain.htm
July 8-12, 2007 13th International Congress of Radiation Research, San Francisco, CA.
Further information: http://www.radres.org/
July 9-12, 2007 37th International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES), Chicago, IL.
Further information: http://www.sae.org/events/ice/
July 7-11, 2007 Plant Biology & Botany 2007 Joint Congress, Chicago, IL.
Further information: http://www.aspb.org/meetings/pb-2007/
September 4-7, 2007 ELGRA (European Low Gravity Research Association) Biennial Meeting and General
Assembly, Florence, Italy. Further information: http://www.elgra.org/Frames.htm
September 16-20, 2007 55th International Congress of Aviation and Space Medicine, Vienna, Austria.
Further information: http://www.icasm2007.org/
September 24-28, 2007 58th International Astronautical Congress, Hyderabad, India.
Further information: http://www.iac2007.org.in/
October 1-5, 2007 51st Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Baltimore, MD.
Further information: http://www.hfes.org/web/HFESMeetings/07annualmeeting.html
October 25-28, 2007 23rd ASGSB Annual Meeting, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA.
Further information: http://asgsb.org
October 29-31, 2007 45th Annual SAFE Symposium, Reno, NV.
Further information: http://www.safeassociation.org
November 3-7, 2007 Neuroscience 2007, San Diego, CA. Further information: http://www.sfn.org/
November 28- National Association of Biology Teachers 2007 Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.
December 1, 2007 Further information: http://www.nabt.org/
About the ASGSB
The American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology (ASGSB), founded in 1984, provides a forum to
foster research, education and professional development in the multidisciplinary fields of gravitational and
space biology. ASGSB brings together a diverse group of scientists and engineers to encourage an exchange
of ideas bridging basic and applied biological research in space and gravitational sciences. The members
represent academia, government, and industry interests bonded by a common issue - how living organisms
respond to gravity and the many related broad-reaching questions regarding biological presence in extrater-
restrial environments. The society’s mission also includes education and outreach. The Vision of ASGSB is
to advance biological research in, of, and for space by bringing together professional communities spanning
gravitational and radiation biology, bioastronautics and astrobiology, and mentoring the future scientific and
engineering leaders in these fields.
Membership information may be found and applications completed online at http://www.asgsb.org; or
obtained from ASGSB, P.O. Box 2581, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2581 or e-mail: email@example.com
20 Newsletter of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology 23 (2) Spring 2007