Dr. Kristan Worthington, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Iowa, has been awarded a Research Building Seed Grant through the Iowa NASA EPSCoR program. Her submitted proposal, “Effects of aggregation methods and donor characteristics on human induced pluripotent stem cell self-renewal, pluripotency, and mechanotransduction in modeled microgravity,” will investigate regenerative tissue engineering for long-term space flight by developing strategies to mitigate microgravity effects on pluripotent stem cells. Dr. Worthington’s research aligns with NASA’s Strategic Objective 1.2, which is to understand responses of physical and biological systems to spaceflight. In addition, her planned research is synergistic with NASA’s Cellular and Molecular Biology Program’s focus on how the stresses of the spaceflight environment affect living systems at the basic cellular and molecular levels.
Dr. Worthington and her Co-I, Dr. Edward Sander, have created a collaboration with NASA scientists at Johnson Space Center, as well as academic collaboration at Arizona State University. This research and its collaborative efforts will help to push Iowa to the forefront of biomedical engineering research nationwide, enabling further understanding of how humans can withstand long-term space flights in the future.
For more information about Dr. Worthington’s research, click here.