2018 Space Genetics Symposium

November 30, 2018
Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School

Genetics, Biomedicine, and the Human Experience in Space - II

Date: November 30, 2018

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Registration/Sign-in beginning at 8 AM.

Venue: Merck Research Laboratories, 33 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115

We at the Consortium for Space Genetics at Harvard Medical School are excited to announce the 2018 Space Genetics Symposium: Genetics, Biomedicine, and the Human Experience in Space - II.  With the explosion in the number of exoplanets being discovered, an increasing presence of humans in Space, and a growing interest in interplanetary travel, there is no time more thrilling than now for considering space exploration, and the challenges faced by human life in space are more pressing than ever. 

The 2018 symposium will focus on the Human Experience in Space, particularly, how the environment of Space influences biology and how genetics could be used to mitigate such influences. This year’s topics will include: the influence of microgravity and solar radiation on human biology; current and future strategies to mitigate these influences; strategies to adapt human biology to novel non-terrestrial environments; and the impact of human health considerations on emerging public and private Space interests. 

Special for this year, we are inviting attendees to submit abstracts (< 250 words) describing current or potential research relating to this year’s symposium theme of Genetics, Biomedicine, and the Human Experience in Space. Abstracts will be reviewed by organizers and may be chosen for presentation during the symposium. Please send abstracts to HMS.space.consortium at gmail.com.

We welcome anyone (human or non-) interested in discussing the important role of Genetics in the context of Space!

Registration deadlines:

Abstract submission: November 18th at 5PM EST

Symposium registration to ensure meal: November 18th at 5PM EST 


Confirmed speakers and Topics (topics subject to change):

Susan M. BaileyColorado State University, Fort Collins, CO USA
- Space-flight and telomere length dynamics, an important biomarker of aging and astronaut health.
George Church, Harvard Medical School, USA
- Application of genetics to create a sustainable environment.
Christopher MasonWeill Cornell Medicine, USA
- A Ten-phase, 500-year plan for the survival of humans on Earth, in space, and beyond.
Garry Nolan, Stanford University, USA
- Can genetic differences in intuition and cognition drive success in space?
Brinda Rana, University of California San Diego, USA
- Metabolomic and proteomic changes associated with weightlessness.
Sara Seager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
- The search for another Earth, including the search for signs of life by way of biosignature gases.
David Sinclair, Harvard Medical School, USA
- Surviving space by protecting the genome and epigenome.
Matthew Weinzierl, Harvard Business School, USA
- The changing business and economics of space.
Ting Wu, Harvard Medical School, USA
- Application of genetics to stabilize the genome against radiation damage.


Humans in Space discussion panel leader:

Gary Ruvkun, Harvard Medical School, USA


Conference organizers:

David Thompson, Harvard Medical School

Huy Nguyen, Harvard Medical School

Vonda Shannon, Harvard Medical School

Sarah Merry, Harvard Medical School

Ting Wu, Harvard Medical School


Sponsored by: