Holiday Newsletter 2009 by undul845



DSLS Holiday Newsletter
USRA Welcomes Two New Scientists!
Dr. Jessica Scott commenced her work as a USRA scientist at the beginning of December. Dr. Scott received her BSc from the University of Alberta (2003), her MSc from the University of British Columbia (2005), and completed her PhD in Cardiovascular Physiology at the University of British Columbia in June 2009. For her dissertation, Jess studied the effects of exercise on Jessica Scott, PhD cardiovascular function in elite athletes and heart transplant recipients and examined the consequences of exercise on orthostatic tolerance. She now serves as a post-doctoral fellow in the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at the NASA Dr. Mangala now serves in the Radiation Biology Lab at Johnson Space Center under the guidance of Dr. JSC under the direction of Dr. Honglu Wu. Her office is Lori Ploutz-Snyder. Her office is located in Buildlocated in Building 37, Room 119A. ing 261, Room 115. Dr. Lingegowda Mangala joined USRA in mid-November. Dr. Mangala received her Ph.D. from the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) in India in 1998. After continuing her research career as a postdoctoral fellow at the Swedish University of Lingegowda Mangala, PhD Agricultural Sciences in Sweden and the National Food Research Institute in Japan (19992003), she joined the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) in Houston, TX as a Research Investigator. During her stay at MDACC, she worked on novel siRNA based therapeutic approaches for breast and ovarian carcinoma. Please join us in welcoming both Dr. Mangala and Jess aboard!

Grant Proposals Submitted
Serrador J, Mulavara A, Wood SJ. Assessment and training countermeasures to improve adaptation to Lunar and Mars gravity. Invited for Phase 2 submission for funding through NASA Research Announcement soliciting Research and Technology Development to Support Crew Health and Performance in Space Exploration Missions (NNJ09ZSA002N). Ploutz-Snyder L, Ploutz-Snyder R, Ryder J, Zwart S, Smith S. Maintenance of cardiovascular, muscle and bone health with a combined exerAjit Mulavara, PhD cise and nutrition program. Invited for Phase 2 submission for funding through NASA Research Announcement soliciting Research and Technology Development to Support Crew Health and Performance in Space Exploration Missions (NNJ09ZSA002N). PI Fernhall B, Biostatistical Co-I Ploutz-Snyder R. Efficacy of aspiring to reduced cardiovascular risk post fire suppression. Submitted for funding to US Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, Department of Homeland Security, Lori Ploutz-Snyder, PhD Federal Emergency Management Agency Grant Programs Directorate. Sibonga JD, Lin C, Roebuck JR. Feasibility of magnetic resonance (MR) technology to measure deterioration in trabecular microarchitecture and degradation in interveterbral disc (IVD) composition in an analog for spaceflight. Invited for Phase 2 submission for funding through NASA Research Rob Ploutz-Snyder, PhD Announcement soliciting Research and Technology Development to Support Crew Health and Performance in Space Exploration Missions (NNJ09ZSA002N). Wood SJ, Reschke MF, Cohen HS, Gottshall KR, Harm DL, Hart SF, Jean Sibonga, PhD Hoffer ME, Kozlovskaya IB, Leigh RJ, Mulavara AP, Peters BT, Rupert AH, Welgampola MS. Self-administered sensorimotor assessment and rehabilitation. Invited for Phase 2 submission for funding through NASA Research Announcement soliciting Research and Technology Development to Support Crew Health and Performance in Space Exploration Missions (NNJ09ZSA002N). Wotring G. Validating the use of salivary samples for pharmacokinetic Scott Wood, PhD measures of sleep medications. HHC Short Proposal. Zanello S, Gillis D, Strangman G, Shea C, Bue G, Mollicone D, Dinges D, Ploutz-Snyder R. Ginger Wotring, PhD Neurological and molecular correlates of thermal stress in standardized human heat exposures. Submitted for funding through NIH R21 announcement PA09-164. Zanello S, Goodwin T, Godley B, Ploutz-Snyder R. Effects of oxygen tension, pressure and microgravity on retinal health. Submitted for funding through NIH R21 announcement PA-08-016. Smith SM & Zwart SR. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: A Nutritional Countermeasure for Space Flight-Induced Bone and Muscle Loss. Submitted in response to NASA Research Announcement Sara Zwart, PhD Susi Zanello, PhD NNJ09ZSA002N.

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Research Grant Awarded!
Marguerite Sognier and her co-investigators received a $3,000.00 grant from the Texas Education Agency/TRC to support STEM Education training for middle school educators. Further, Marguerite and co-investigators received a $90,000.00 grant from the Texas Education Marguerite Sognier, PhD Agency/TRC to provide mentoring for teachers in the classroom for less than two years.

New Publications by DSLS Scientists
Bayard T, Carhart RL Jr, Weinstock RS, Ploutz-Snyder LL, Kanaley JA. 2009. Short-term exercise training improves aerobic ca- Lori Ploutz-Snyder, PhD Lori Ploutz-Snyder, PhD pacity with no change in arterial function in obesity. Eur J Appl Physiol Oct 107(3): 299-308. s00421-009-1126-2 Soares-Caldeira LF, Ritti-Dias RM, Okuno NM, Cyrino ES, Gurjão AL, Ploutz-Snyder LL. 2009. Familiarization indexes in sessions of 1RM tests in adult women. J Strength Cond Res Oct 23(7): 203945. jsc.0b013e3181b3e158 Cowley PM, Ploutz-Snyder LL, Baynard T, Heffernan K, Jae SY, Hsu S, Lee M, Pitetti KH, Reiman MP, Fernhall B. 2009. Physical Fitness Predicts Functional Tasks in Individuals with Down syndrome. Sara Zwart, PhD Med Sci Sports Exerc. Nov 13. [Epub ahead of print] Mathew G, Zwart SR, Smith SM. 2009. Stability of blood analytes after storage in BD SST™ tubes for 12 mo. Clin Biochem 41(1617): 1732-1734. http:// j.clinbiochem.2009.07.015 Kim M-H Y, Hayat MJ, Feiveson AH & Cucinotta FA. 2009. Using high-energy proton fluence to im- Myung-Hee Kim, PhD prove risk prediction for consequences of solar particle events, Advances in Space Research, 44(12): 14281432. Kim M-H Y, Qualls GD, Slaba TC & Cucinotta FA. 2009. Comparison of Organ Dose and Dose Equivalent for Human Phantoms of CAM vs. MAX. Advances in Space Research. [e-pub Plante, MD PhD before Ianik print]: j.asr.2009.09.027 Plante I & Cucinotta FA. 2009. Calculations of the energy deposition and relative frequency of hits of a cylindrical target in medium irradiated by ions by Monte-Carlo track structure simulations. J Radiation and Environmental Biophysics [e-pub]. Holly JE, Wood SJ & McCollum G. 2009. Phase-linking and the perceived motion during off-vertical axis rotation. Biol Cybern [epub DOI: 10.1007/s00422-009-0347-0]. Zwart SR, Pierson D, Mehta S, Gonda S, Smith SM. 2009. Capacity of omega-3 fatty acids or eicosapentaenoic acid to counteract weightlessness-induced bone loss by inhibiting NF-kappaB activation: From cells to bed rest to astronauts. J Bone Miner Res Oct 29. [Epub ahead of print]. Chris Westby, PhD Stauffer BL, Westby CM, Greiner JJ, Van Guilder GP, Desouza CA. Chris Westby, PhD 2009. SexDifferences in Endothelin-1 Mediated Vasoconstrictor Tone in Middle-Aged and Older Adults. American Journal of Physiology. Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology (Nov 25).

Are you SMARing yet?
SMAR is DSLS’ series of professional development workshops on Statistical Methods and Applications Review! Even if you missed the initial meetings, you can still participate! The next session will take place in January and focus on Hot Topics discovered during the previous classes. Join us in lively discussions about statistics and a wide variety of statistical approaches to gain knowledge from data. Lunch is provided. Contact Dagmar at if you interested in attending.
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SPOTLIGHT ON: Shaowen Hu, PhD!
Shaowen Hu, PhD, works in the Space Radiation Health Project under the leadership of Dr. Francis Cucinotta. At the 55th Annual Meeting of the Radiation Research Society in Savannah, GA, this year, Shaowen received the prestigious Fowler Award. The Fowler Award recognizes an outstanding young investigator for exceptional work in radiation oncology, medical physics, and/or radiobiology. Shaowen was recently interviewed for this Spotlight article. * Tell us briefly about yourself and your family. My wife Xiaoying, our son Yijun, and I came from Wuhan, a well known “hot furnace” in China as Houston is for the US. Our second son Caleb enjoys the summer of Houston like us as he chose to come out in June. Currently both brothers go to T. H. Rogers School. This is one of the most marvelous schools I have ever visited. Houston Chinese Church is another place that our family goes together frequently. * What are you presently working on at JSC? A part of my work here is to conduct modeling simulations to assess the acute radiation risks from space radiation. These include prodromal risks, hematopoietic modulations, significant skin great scientists such as Newton, Maxwell, and Mendel were very religiously convicted. I think there is a very coherent relationship between Christianity and science. Ever since I beShaowen Hu, PhD came a Christian, I have found my Shaowen Hu, PhD faith helped me in many ways of my injury, or death from a major solar research, such as motivation to tackle event or combination solar/galactic critical problems, inspiration for creacosmic ray event that jeopardizes tive approaches, determination of crew and mission survival. I have applications, and understanding of the also worked on a protein, Ku, framework of meaning. which plays an important role in * What are your goals for this year? DNA damage recognition and repair. Elucidating the structural and I will continue on my several projects and will prepare some journal papers. functional features of this protein can help to understand the molecuThank you so much for being our lar pathways of DNA repair. It can Spotlight Scientist for this edition of also facilitate the building of a the DSLS newsletter, Shaowen. systems biological model to Merry Christmas to you and your improve the health risks assessfamily! ment of space radiation. * What is most important to you regarding your work at JSC? To conduct scientific research successfully, there are many factors that are important, but I think the most important one for me is the Christian faith. In history, many great developments in science occurred in a Christian enShaowen and his family vironment, and many

Honors and Awards
Ramona Gaza and Yvonne Roed were recognized on October 15, 2009, with the SRAG Appreciation Award for exceptional self-assigned work. They coordinated and performed TL measurements for a total of 25 detector packages to meet an unexpected deadline. Congratulations, Ramona and Yvonne!

Yvonne Roed, MS

Ramona Gaza, PhD
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Recent Scientific Presentations
alization of Monte-Carlo simulations of HZE track structure and Feiveson A & Ploutz-Snyder R. initial chemical species. Oral talk Statistical Methods and Application presented by Ianik Plante. Review (SMAR). DSLS ProfesPresentations at the 55th sional Development Series. Annual Meeting of the Patel Z. 2-D and 3-D Esophageal Radiation Research Society Cell Systems for Radiation Risk Assessment. DSLS October Brown George KA, Hada M, Patel Z, Huff J, Bag Luncheon Seminar. Pluth JM, Cucinotta Shea C & Keeton K. Assessing the FA. Chromosome Fidelity of Antarctica as an Analog: aberrations in DNA What We Know, What We Don’t repair-defective cell Know. DSLS November Brown lines: comparisons Megumi Hada, PhD Bag Luncheon Seminar. of dose rate and raPresentations at the diation quality. Oral talk and Space Radiation Journal Club poster presented by George. DSLS Seminars Chappell L. An Overview of Radiation Cancer Risks: A Literature Review of BEIR VII and UNSCEAR 2006 Reports. Patel Z. Making Stem Cells From Differentiated Cells. Presentations at the 15th Intl Microdosimetry Symposium Hada M, Huff J, Patel Z, Pluth JM, George KA, Cucinotta FA. Analysis of chromosomal aberrations after low and high dose rate Janice Huff, PhD gamma irradiation in ATM or NBS suppressed human fibroblast cells. Poster presented by Megumi Hada. sented by Artem Ponomarev. Presentations at the 60th Intl Astronautical Congress Kim M-HY, De Angelis G, Cucinotta FA. Probabilistic assessment of radiation risk for astronauts in space missions. Oral talk presented by Myung-Hee Kim. Rapporteur, Kim M-HY, Session A1.4: Radiation Effects and Risks in Human Space Missions, Space Life Sciences Symposium. Presentations at the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching, Galveston, TX Sognier M. Pod-Casting for All! Oral talk. Sognier M. Basic Biotechnology Methods. Oral talk with hands-on lab experiments. Presentations at the Gerontological Society 62nd Annual Meeting

Cromwell RL, Newton RA, Buccello-Stout R, Meyers P. Reliability of the Gait Stability Ratio (GSR) Hu S, Wang H, Pluth JM, Cucinotta FA. Computational study on in Healthy Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Presentation and Abfull-length human Ku70 with double stranded DNA: dynamics, stract published in The interactions and functional impli- Gerontologist, 49 (52): Hu S, Wang H, Pluth JM, Cuci286. cations. Poster and oral talk prenotta FA. Computational study on sented by Shaowen Hu. full-length human Ku70 with douBuccello-Stout R, ble stranded DNA: dynamics, inter- Plante I, Cucinotta FA. SimulaCromwell RL, actions and functional implications. tion of TGFβ activation by lowBloomberg J. CharacOral talk presented by Shaowen terization of the Head Regina Buccellodose HZE radiation in a cell culStout, PhD Stabilization ReHu. ture. Poster presented by Ianik sponse to Lateral Perturbation durPlante. Hu S & Cucinotta FA. A cell kiing Walking in Older Adults. Presnetic model of granulopoiesis under Ponomarev A, Cornforth MN, entation and Abstract published in radiation exposure: extension from Loucas BD, Cucinotta FA. A The Gerontologist, 49(52): 288. rodents to canines and humans. Monte-Carlo Model for the forPoster presented by Shaowen Hu. mation of radiation-induced chroPlante I & Cucinotta FA. 3D visu- mosomal aberrations. Poster preCucinotta FA, Plante I, Ponomarev A, Kim M-HY. Nuclear Interactions in Heavy Ion Transport and Event-Based Risk Models. Invited lecture presented by F. Cucinotta.
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Education & Public Outreach
Scott Wood mentors USRP intern M. Cordova. Larry Kuznetz advised University of South Alabama graduate student Tom Miller on a progress report for the improved 2-D human body thermal model. Lori Ploutz-Snyder met with NASA managers to discuss the science merit review process for Syracuse University graduate student Kyle Hackney’s dissertation proposal. She is also working with PhD student Lynne Logan of Rocky Mountain State University as her dissertation advisor; Lynne has completed data collection in Syracuse and is now analyzing data.
Larry Kuznetz, PhD

booth support for the STEM Education Programs at Moody Gardens’ Open House, sold robotic bugs to support the BEST Robotics competition, and presented an invited talk “Overview of student and teacher STEM education programs” at the 10th Annual UTMB Regional Science Teachers Dazhuang Zhou, Conference. She also sponsored PhD and coordinated the Boosting Engineering Science and Technology (BEST) Robotics Competition which was held in Galveston. Roni Cromwell reviewed articles for the Journal of Biomechanics and for Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She was interviewed by Amy Chodroff, a Roni Cromwell, PhD morning news anchor for WBAP Roni Cromwell, PhD News/Talk radio in Dallas. Johnny Conkin led a tour of the pressure chambers and briefed six visiting Aerospace Medicine Clerks on environmental physiology research activities.

Susi Zanello was interviewed by the New York Times about the scientific concepts behind circadian clock proteins and whether or not they may be involved in the skin’s repair mechanisms. Susi also served as a volunteer in the HACD Booth at the JSC Open House during the 2009 Ballunar Festival. Jeff Ryder reviewed two SBIR grants for crew exercise systems. Sara Zwart reviewed a manuscript Jeff Ryder, PhD for the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, provided tours of the Nutritional Lab for DSLS Bioastronautics Seminar speaker Dr. Lynda Frassetto from the University of California San Francisco, and discussed NEEMO data with a visiting scientist from Idaho State University.

Camille Shea, PhD

Camille Shea reviewed seven Phase 1 SBIR proposals in the BHP Bmed Risk area and recommended three for funding.

Jean Sibonga reviewed eight proposals for the NIH F10B ZRG special emphasis review panel. Marguerite Sognier provided

Upcoming Meetings at USRA Houston
Dec. 17 - 18 Dec. 22 Dec. 29 Jan. 22 Jan. 28 Feb. 2 - 3 Feb. 3 - 5 Feb. 8 - 12 Lunar Electric Rover Generation II UTMB Orthopedics Department Grand Rounds UTMB Orthopedics Department Grand Rounds Cardio Lab Retreat DSLS Brown Bag Seminar - Sara Zwart, PhD Standard Conditions Workshop NASA Human Research Program (HRP) Investigators’ Workshop (at the Westin Galleria Hotel) MMOP Air Quality
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What’s Going On With … ?
Lealem Mulugeta’s Digital Astronaut computational model has entered the beta testing stage. He is working with the Digital Astronaut team to solidify the science plan and vision for the project, and is strategizing ways to engage the project in STEM education. Larry Kuznetz volunteered as a beta tester for the Digital Astronaut computer program and provided feedback. Larry Kuznetz, PhD Larry also organized a telecom with UH, Virginia Commonwealth and NASA for the purpose of establishing a multi-disciplinary team to submit an NSBRI grant proposal for incorporating wireless technology into the spacesuit bioadvisory algorithm (LEGACI). Hatem Nounu reviewed the FORTRAN code of BRYNTRN with UHCL professor Terry Feagin and rewrote Hatem N. Nounu, PhD inefficient code segments, which resulted in run time savings of 25%. Lori Ploutz-Snyder co-chaired a muscle/bone panel for the standing review panel meeting, at which 39 national experts convened to review the HRP research portfolio. Jean Sibonga, seeking to assess boneHatem Nounu, PhD microarchitecture for central skeletal sites for the SLSD Innovation Strategy, is preparing written descriptions of rationale, background and impact to the
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space program. Jean met with Dr. J.D. Polk to discuss convening a panel of leading osteoporosis clinicians in the spring of 2010 to formulate a Bone Health Policy for longduration astronauts. Johnny Conkin was asked by Dr. Tom Newman to contribute a chapter to the 6th edition Johnny Conkin, PhD of Bennett & Elliot, The Physiology and Medicine of Diving. As the sole author he will summarize 30 years of research to prevent DCS in shuttle astronauts. Further, Johnny is co-authoring a paper about break in prebreathe with Dr. Andrew Pilmanis, drafted a paper entitled “Decompression sickness after air break in prebreathe described with survival model” with Drs. Pilmanis and Webb, and is coauthoring a chapter in the Biomedical Results of the Shuttle with Dr. Mike Gernhardt. Megumi Hada worked the NSRL09C experiment run at Brookhaven National Laboratory and discussed progress and future plans for the collaborative project “Rad Gene” space experiment with Dr. Katsunori Omori of JAXA. Myung Kim completed the analysis of environmental and mission parameters of the recent 10 ISS missions according to dosimetry reports for the periods from September 2006 to November 2008, as well as the re-

cent 7 STS missions for the periods from June 2007 to November 2008. Ianik Plante completed the simulation of the association of a Brownian particle (TFGβ) with a partially absorbing boundary in 1D (cell membrane with TGFβ receptors) with the possi- Ianik Plante, MD PhD bility of dissociation and a decay channel for the TGFβ and TGFβ receptor. The first paper about this project, “Calculations of distance distributions, probabilities of binding and initiation of signal transduction by ligands in a cell culture in 1D membrane simulations”, is also complete. Ianik has now started calculations for extension of the model in 1D (2 membranes), 2D and 3D. Rob Ploutz-Snyder has been regularly teaching the DSLS Professional Development Course entitled SMAR (Statistical Methods and Applications Review) with great success. The lunch time classes are attended by about 30 people on average who highly appreciate his dedication, knowledge and Rob Ploutz-Snyder, PhD teaching skills!

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Happy Holidays! The DSLS Administrative Team wishes you and your family peace and joy for the holidays and throughout the New Year.

The DSLS Newsletter is published on a bi-monthly basis. Dagmar Morgan—Editor Division of Space Life Sciences Universities Space Research Association, 3600 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston, TX 77058

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