In this experiment, Principle Investigator (PI) Dr. Abba Zubair of the Mayo Clinic at Jacksonville, FL, studies the effects of microgravity on three types of human stem cells (cancer, hematopoietic, and mesenchymal). He wishes to identify if stem cells can expand (increase in number) in microgravity, assess the feasibility of generating clinical grade stem cells in microgravity, and evaluate the efficacy and safety of microgravity grown stem cells. Dr. Zubair ultimately wishes to be able to generate large quantities of stem cells in microgravity and then return them to Earth for use in patients who have suffered strokes or other debilitating injuries or illnesses.
In collaboration with Dr. Zubair, Orion’s Quest (OQ) is offering teachers the opportunity to get their students directly involved in this exciting new research by joining the “Stem Cell Studies on Station” (SCSOS) OQ mission. Participating teachers will be provided with curriculum materials to help student understand stem cell types and expansion, to follow the work that has previously been done by Dr. Zubair, and to understand Dr. Zubair’s current research. Your students will gain access to the actual images of three stem cell types from both Dr. Zubair’s space-based and ground-based experiments and will be guided through their analysis. Student data will be forwarded to Dr. Zubair for possible inclusion in his database.
Recommended for middle and high school students