“Tendons are force-transferring tissues that heal very poorly. I am currently working on a research project to understand how tendons develop to help establish the foundation for tendon engineering research. I want to apply this research to an aerospace setting by analyzing how tendon development, growth, structure and function is altered in the microgravity environment found in space.
I am passionate about space travel and the engineering that is necessary to maintain human health in outer space.”
This is a multi-year project that will require me to attain an array of research techniques ranging from advanced microscopy to data processing and research collaboration. Furthermore, traveling to Johnson Space Center will provide cutting-edge research experience invaluable to my project.
This project intersects with human health and biology. From maintaining astronaut health, to sports medicine, to artificial tissue growth for tendon regeneration – this research has the potential to make a large impact. I will also travel to Johnson Space Center to collaborate with an array of researchers.
Whereas most astrobiomedical research has focused on muscle and bone, this project will look at tendons. Accordingly, this innovative research opens up novel opportunities for tissue engineering and tendon regenerative therapies in space.
The collaboration with other researchers as well as the breadth of tendon injuries across the globe will provide me with a better understanding of how our global community is challenged by and must adapt to health crises.
This project is centered around the societal importance of space exploration and sports medicine, two of the biggest applications of this research. Accordingly, my experience in this area will expand my understanding of our society’s struggle with maintaining astronaut and athlete health.
Grand Challenge Focus Area
Engineer Better Medicines
Doctors have long known that people differ in susceptibility to disease and response to medicines. But, with little guidance for understanding and adjusting to individual differences, treatments have been standardized rather than individualized.