May 3rd, 2024

Meet our 2024 Junior Scientist Awardees!

This award recognizes the top outstanding proposals from middle school teams. This year, we were thrilled to receive over 120 applications from contestants in 7th and 8th grade. The exceptional quality of proposals led us to expand the number of Junior Scientist Awardees, with a total of seven recipients honored for their creativity, thoughtful approach to space challenges, and innovative use of biotechnology tools. These remarkable young minds have truly impressed us with their dedication and ingenuity.

All awardees will receive a prize package that includes a P51 Fluorescence Biotechnology Toolkit for their educational institution, so they can put ISS biotechnology to use in their very own classrooms.

Shawn Chen

Shawn Chen (13) from Porter Ranch Community School in Porter Ranch, CA

Topic: Quantitative Study of Methanosarcinaceae DNA Damage for Better Sustainability of Space Missions

Seha Bulathsinghala

Seha Bulathsinghala (14) from BASIS San Antonio - Shavano Campus in San Antonio, TX

Topic: The Effects Of Cosmic Radiation on the BRCA1, BRCA2, and CHD4 (rs74790047, p.D140E) Genes

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Lavanya Tonge (12) from Smith Middle School in Troy, MI

Topic: Muscle Stem Cell Aging in Space

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Eesha Vanamala (13) from Brooklawn Middle School in Parsippany, NJ

Topic: Analyzing TGF-β and IL-6 in Cytokine Dysregulation to Prevent Cognitive Decline for Astronauts

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Massimiliano Cataldi (14) & Austin Fluckiger (13) from The Saints Academy in Beverly, MA

Topic: Genetic Mutations of Staphylococcus on the ISS and The Detrimental Effect on Space Travel

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Janely Gonzalez (13) from Steindorf K-8 STEAM School in San Jose, CA

Topic: Insights into protein folding dynamics from space-specific high-energy radiation and microgravity

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Jonathan Kim (13) from Tenafly Middle School in Tenafly, NJ

Topic: The Effects of Microgravity on Organ Transplant Rejection

Congratulations to all award recipients from the Genes in Space team! We can't wait to see what you come up with next year!