Today, as we celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we highlight some of the pioneering women and girls who are leveraging the International Space Station (ISS) to conduct valuable research and inspire other girls to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Mary Kearns-Jonker, researcher at Loma Linda University, studied cardiovascular progenitor cells in microgravity, toward the development of cell-based regenerative therapies for patients with heart disease. Read more.
Nicole Wagner, president and CEO of startup LambdaVision, is using microgravity conditions on the ISS to improve the manufacturing process for a retinal implant that restores vision in patients with retinal degeneration. Read more.
Siobhan Malany, University of Florida researcher and president of startup Micro-gRx, is using innovative lab-on-a-chip and tissue chip technology to study muscle wasting in microgravity. Read more.
Chia Soo and Jin Hee Kwak
Chia Soo, professor, and Jin Hee Kwak, adjunct associate professor, of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues used the ISS to advance a new potential therapy for osteoporosis based on a naturally produced protein called NELL-1. Read more.
Anna-Lisa Paul, research professor at the University of Florida, used the ISS to study fundamental plant development processes in an environment free of the masking effects of gravity. Read more.
Chunhui Xu, associate professor at the Emory University School of Medicine, is studying microgravity’s effects on cardiac progenitors and their differentiation into cardiomyocytes, cells of the specialized muscle tissue of the heart. Read more.
Paola Divieti Pajevic
Paola Divieti Pajevic, associate professor at Boston University’s Goldman School of Dental Medicine, used microgravity to study osteocytes (the most abundant cell type in bone) and their role in bone health. Read more.
Lenore Rasumussen, founder and CEO of the company Ras Labs, leveraged the ISS to advance the company’s Synthetic Muscle™, an electroactive polymer-based product aimed at making prosthetics more lifelike. Read more.
Anna-Sophia Boguraev, an M.D.-Ph.D. student at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is an alumnae of the Genes in Space program, where she demonstrated the viability of using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify DNA in microgravity. Read more.
Student investigator Gitanjali Rao, selected as TIME magazine’s first-ever “Kid of the Year” in 2020, won a Junior Scientist Award for an outstanding proposal in the 2018 Genes in Space competition. Read more.
Student investigator Adia Bulawa analyzed the effectiveness in microgravity of a dental glue that is activated by UV light in her winning experiment from the Guardians of the Galaxy Space Station Challenge. Read more.
Abby, Julia, Abby Sofía, and Sarah
Student investigators Abby, Julia, Abby Sofía, and Sarah discuss their experience designing and sending experiments to the ISS in the SciGirls® in Space video series, which is part of the popular Twin City PBS SciGirls® program. Learn more.
Payton Kelly-Van Domelen and Kaitlyn Twesme
Student investigators Payton Kelly-Van Domelen and Kaitlyn Twesme sent crystal growth experiments to the ISS as part of the Wisconsin Space Crystal Prize. Read more.