NASA Open Science: Space Radiation and Biological Effects

Dr. Sylvain V. Costes
Space Biosciences Research Branch Chief

Project Manager for Open Science for Space Biology (GeneLab/ALSDA)

Director of the Radiation Biophysics Laboratory

NASA Ames Research Center

FRI, 04/28/2023 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
Spring 2023 Colloquium Series


The challenges and risks associated with deep space missions require new knowledge discovery tools and biomedical support capabilities. To support this shift, biological data needs to be findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable, and maximally open access. The NASA Open Science Data Repositories (OSDR) provide the ability to upload, download, search, share, analyze, and visualize data across various datasets. OSDR utilizes community-defined, common models for metadata and terminology to ensure that space data and results are discoverable and reproducible. I will discuss experiments hosted in OSDR and conducted in my lab using either human and mouse samples exposed to simulated space radiation and focusing on genetic factors associated with resilience to DNA damage from ionizing radiation. The RadLab project, which is hosted by OSDR, will also be discussed. This database archives dosimetry data collected by both European and American dosimeters located in the International Space Station. Lastly, the BioSentinel payload, launched during Artemis I, will be discussed. It has been collecting space radiation dosimetry while monitoring a biological payload with autonomous life support technologies in deep space.


Dr. Costes earned his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1999. He has since led interdisciplinary research teams in academia and government institutions. Notably, he developed spatial statistics for fluorescence microscopy at the National Cancer Institute and worked on risk modeling for NASA and biomarker development for the DOE at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. He co-founded Exogen Biotechnology Inc. in 2012, focused on DNA health monitoring, and later joined NASA in 2016 as project manager for Open Science for Space Biosciences, overseeing software development, systems biology, and incorporating AI/ML tools