• Date: Thursday, October 26, 2017
  • Time: 5:30-6:30 Social Hour; 6:30 talk by Dr. Feinberg
  • Place: Mason Hall
  • RSVP required!

Dr. Andrew Feinberg leads the Johns Hopkins Center for Epigenetics, and in December 2015 was appointed a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor.He can also tell you how to do genetic research in space, because Feinberg is the principal investigator on the NASA Astronaut Twins Study.

Photo of NASA astronauts and twin brothers Scott Kelly and Mark Kelly.
NASA astronauts and twin brothers Mark Kelly and Scott Kelly.

American astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly are identical twins, and part of NASA’s HumanResearch Program, which involves studying the biological differences between identical twins when one is on Earth and one is in space. Scott spent a year on the International Space Station (ISS), from March 27, 2015 until March 1, 2016 (it felt longer). Scott and his twin Mark (now retired) gave biosamples and participated with investigators to help assess any longitudinal changes. The team was interested in the differences in molecular profiles, such as changes in immune response. Read more about NASA’s “One-Year Mission.”)

Photo of NASA's International Space Station
NASA’s International Space Station

A 2016 article by Feinberg mentions that for some analyses of human blood cells, “long-term preservation of… cells requires their isolation and transfer into appropriate freezing media.” Feinberg comments, “There are currently no protocols for these cellular isolation procedures on the International Space Station (ISS)… Even being able to collect human biosamples on board the ISS is “fairly limited.” (Surprise.)

This Conversations in Medicine event is sponsored by the Hopkins Parents Fund and Space@Hopkins.


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