Monday, August 11, 2014 - 11:00
Specific location: 
Room 343

Space-Based Life Sciences Research and its Benefits to the General Public

Guest Speaker: Dr. Luis Zea from BioServe Space Technologies – University of Colorado, Boulder

August 11, 2014, 11:00 at Læknagarður, room 343, 3rd floor

From the USSR’s launch of Korabl-Sputnik 2 in 1960, numerous life sciences studies have taken place in space. These experiments have been conducted in a myriad of spacecraft and have focused on different branches of science. An overview of the platforms used as well as of the fields researched since the 1960’s is presented. Specific examples are analyzed within three categories: basic research, educational and applied research. The basis of their experiment protocols and their return of investment to the general public is discussed. Emphasis will be put on an experiment currently being conducted at the International Space Station: Antibiotic Effectiveness in Space-1. Upcoming research platforms and potential ways for Icelandic researchers to get involved in space-based research are also addressed.

Biographical Summary

Luis works on space life sciences experiments sent to the International Space Station both on the engineering and the science sides. His engineering background includes having worked at ExxonMobil as a mechanical engineer, for the University of Central Florida as a CO2 removal research project manager and for Siemens Energy, Inc. as a heat transfer engineer. As a Ph.D. candidate in Bioastronautics from University of Colorado, Boulder (CU), Luis has been at BioServe Space Technologies, where he has worked on space life sciences payloads flown in the last Space Shuttles and more recently on commercial spacecraft.

Luis has taken on side projects throughout his career. During his masters he worked on a CubeSat while also conducting research on gas kinetics at the Florida Space Institute in Cape Canaveral. During his Ph.D., Luis managed a graduate project to develop a baseline cockpit architecture for the Dream Chaser orbital vehicle. Throughout the last seven years has invested significant amount of time on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) outreach to K-12 students and has volunteered as part of the American Red Cross’ Disaster Action Team. He has been awarded with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Wilbur and Orville Wright Award, CU’s Graduate Student Service Award, Guatemala’s Person of the Year in the Science and Technology category, among other honors. 

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