June 1st, 2015

Genes in Space Honorable Mention Awardees

The Genes in Space Team reviewed 330 entries from more than 700 applicants from across the country. Of these, 12 proposals have been awarded an Honorable Mention. The team was impressed by the quality, creativity, and innovative nature of these proposals and experimental designs. We would like to recognize and congratulate the following Honorable Mention Awardees:

Aparna Nair-Kanneganti
School: Stuyvesant High School, NY
Mentor: Marianne Prabhu
Proposal Description: Surviving the space vacuum: induced cryptobiosis via genetic modification in E. coli

Zachery Taylor-Kelley and Hawa Ibrahim
School: Codman Academy Charter School, MA
Mentor: Howard Goldsweig
Proposal DescriptionStudying the changes in E coli FtsZ gene expression in response to growth under conditions of microgravity on the International Space Station

Veronica Douglas and Natasha Douglas
School: Cedar Ridge High School, NC
Mentor: Kaethe Douglas
Proposal DescriptionUtilizing PCR to analyze immune response to viruses

Betty Chen and Calvin Law
School: The Bronx High School of Science, NY
Mentor: Erin O’Leary
Proposal DescriptionAnalyzing possible threats to the immune system of astronauts posed by surrounding bacteria

Miscia Fortna
School: Orlando Science School, FL
Mentor: Sibel Balci
Proposal Description: Studying the effects of the ISS gravity and speed on the shrinkage of telomeres

Kushal Kadakia
School: Clear Lake High School, TX
Mentor: Deborah Borrmann
Proposal Description: Biology at the Final Frontier – investigating the impact of spaceflight on gene expression in the human microbiome

William Gao, Julia Hansen, Michael Gao, and Yinyu Ji
School: Boston Latin School, MA
Mentor: Aimee Messemer and Scott Balicki
Proposal Description: Creating a more effective antibiotic to address the issue of pathogenic antibiotic resistance

Kayla Wiedholz, Claire Candell, Julia Taenzer, and Phatsaraphon Chudongkaew
School: Oregon High School, WI
Mentor: Peter Kritsch
Proposal Description: Studying fidelity of DNA polymerase in space

Sean Prager, Marlon Trifunovic, and Todd Bertels
School: Huntington Beach High School, CA
Mentor: Ken Ostrowski
Proposal Description: Inserting cloned plasmids into E. coli to complete essential tasks for long ­term spaceflight

Remi Tsunoda
School: Kaimuki Middle School, HI
Mentor: Alia Thompson
Proposal DescriptionTesting the efficiency of PCR in space

Dylan Barcelos, Kylie Cooper, Aaron Gouveia, and Nicholas DaRocha
School: Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School, MA
Mentor: Liss O’Connell
Proposal DescriptionThe effect of microgravity on DNA repair enzymes when fixing cancer mutations in the p53 gene

Kevin Lin and Henry Filosa
School: American Museum of Natural History, NY
Mentor: Anthony Caragiulo and Julia Zichello
Proposal DescriptionAnalyzing the effects of the ISS environment on PCR-induced recombination using an American classic cotton

In recognition of this work, these young scientists will receive an official Genes in Space medal. Congratulations and thank you again for participating. We invite all participants to stay in touch as you now hold a special spot within the Genes in Space community.