Two 2023 graduates of the Tome School in North East, Maryland are headed to Seattle, Washington for the International Space Station Research & Development Conference at the end of July. Kenny Koch of North East and Christina Rasa, Perryville, are one of five finalist teams in the Genes in Space Competition out of 820 entries.
Their proposal, Using Nano-thylakoid Units to Reverse the Effects of Osteoarthritis in Mice Living on the ISS was developed with guidance from their teacher, Dr. Philip Kudish, and their mentor, Stu Adamson, a Harvard University scientist. If they win the competition, they will travel to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to watch their experiment launch to space in 2024 where it will be performed by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Founded by Boeing and miniPCR bio, Genes in Space invites students in grades 7 through 12 to design biology experiments that address real-world challenges in space exploration. The competition receives additional sponsorship from the ISS National Laboratory and New England Biolabs.
Kenny and Christina’s accomplishment has won for the Tome School a P51 biotechnology prize package. This prize will grant Tome students a chance to use some of the very same biotechnology equipment in use on the ISS.