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CASIS Board of Directors Selects Chairperson

Published on Thursday, December 20, 2012

CASIS Board of Directors Selects Chairperson

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL. (December 20, 2012) – The new Board of Directors for the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the nonprofit organization promoting and managing research on board the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, designated France Córdova, Ph.D., as the group’s Chairperson last week in Washington, D.C.

As Chair, Córdova will serve as the CASIS Board spokesperson, and will preside over future Board meetings. The meeting that took place in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, December 13, 2012, was the organization’s first official meeting of the new, permanent Board.

Córdova is President Emerita of Purdue University, where she holds the position of professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Her previous positions include Chancellor of the University of California at Riverside, Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of California at Santa Barbara, NASA's Chief Scientist, Department Head at the Penn State University, and Deputy Group Leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Since her days as a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology, she launched rocket and satellite payloads and authored or co-authored over 150 scientific and policy papers. 

“I am honored to have been selected as chair of the CASIS Board of Directors and I am eager to work with such accomplished and experienced individuals," said Córdova. “We all affirm the importance of the CASIS mission – to maximize utilization of the ISS – and plan to put our networks and abilities to bear to lead this organization.”

“France holds more than three decades of high-level management and scientific experience, and was a clear choice for the other Board members,” said CASIS Interim Executive Director Jim Royston. “In addition to France, we have a brilliant group of professionals that are enthusiastic and equipped to guide the organization.”

Additional members of the CASIS Board of Directors include: 

Scientific Members:

  • Bess Dawson-Hughes, M.D., Director, Bone Metabolism Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University
  • Andrei E. Ruckenstein, Ph.D., Vice President Research & Associate Provost, Boston University
  • Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Ph.D., Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Medicine, Director of the Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Columbia University

Managing Members:

  • Lewis Duncan, Ph.D., President, Rollins College
  • Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder & President, Institute for Systems Biology
  • Howard Zucker, M.D., J.D., Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University

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About CASIS: The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory through 2020. CASIS is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries that will enhance the health and wellbeing of people and our planet. The CASIS goal is to bring the magic of space down to earth. For more information, visit 

About the ISS National Laboratory:
In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the International Space Station as the nation's newest national laboratory to maximize its use for improving life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users and advancing STEM education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by other U.S. government agencies and by academic and private institutions, providing access to the permanent microgravity setting, vantage point in low earth orbit and varied environments of space. The ISS National Laboratory Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center currently facilitates research initiatives on board the station’s National Lab, but management of America’s only in-orbit laboratory is transitioning to CASIS.

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