KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL. (May 22, 2013) – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the nonprofit organization managing research onboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, today issued a solicitation for proposals in non-embryonic stem cell research.
The Request for Proposals (RFP) seeks to identify projects studying the effects of microgravity on non‑embryonic mammalian stem cells for one of two research emphasis areas: (1) rapid turn-around spaceflight experiments to be performed on the National Lab or (2) ground-based research that will pave the way for improved spaceflight experiments in the future. CASIS will support selected projects through grant funding, facilitation of service provider partnerships and flight coordination to and from the ISS.
Stem cells are cells that have not yet completed differentiation, the change that occurs when cells and tissues become more specialized in their functions. They display remarkable plasticity in their ability to give rise to a spectrum of cell types and ensure life-long tissue rejuvenation and regeneration. A breadth of experiments on the ground utilizing simulated microgravity, and a smaller number of experiments in space, have shown that microgravity induces changes in the way stem cells grow, divide and differentiate. Exploiting these changes may allow acceleration of traditional ground-based research studies. Stem cell biology in microgravity is thus poised to transform broad fields from discovery science to tissue engineering to regenerative medicine.
“CASIS is excited to support research in an area with such broad implications,” said CASIS Interim Executive Director Jim Royston. “Awarded projects will help demonstrate the utility of the National Lab for stem cell research and ultimately enable improvements in drug screening techniques and regenerative medicine.”
For additional information about this RFP, including instructions and information regarding stem cell research, CASIS and the ISS please visit:
Proposals must be submitted electronically by 5pm EDT on July 25, 2013 via the CASIS solicitations website page.
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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 www.iss-casis.org.
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.