Grants Support Biomedical Research in Space

Tuesday - 9/14/2010, 11:59am EDT

The National Institutes of Health has awarded the first new grants under the Biomedical Research on the International Space Station (or BioMed-ISS) initiative, a collaborative effort between NIH and NASA. Using a special microgravity environment that Earth-based laboratories cannot replicate, researchers will explore fundamental questions about important health issues, such as how bones and the immune system are weakened.

The National Laboratory at the International Space Station provides a virtually gravity-free - or microgravity - environment where the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie human diseases can be explored.

Scientists will conduct their experiments in two stages. The first is a ground-based preparatory phase to allow investigators to meet select milestones and technical requirements. The second is an Space Station experimental phase. That will include preparing the experiments for launch, working with astronauts to conduct them on the Space Station, and then performing subsequent data analyses on Earth.