Document Type


Date of Award



College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (COSET)

Degree Name

MS in Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Shishir Shishodia


Spaceflight exposes astronauts to a plethora of harmful environmental elements including microgravity. Exposure to microgravity has been demonstrated to have significant effects on the reproductive system, cardiovascular system and nervous system. One particular effect of exposure to a space environment is an increase in oxidative stress. This particular type of stress is known to activate the transcription factor Nuclear Factor - KB. This pro-inflammatory transcription factor regulates more than 200 genes. These genes are responsible for inflammation, cell proliferation and apoptosis. In addition, activation of this transcription factor has been linked to carcinogenesis, viral infections, diabetes, and arthritis. Due to this relationship, it is extremely important to understand the behavior of Nuclear Factor (NF)- KB in a microgravity environment. Research has shown that NF-KB can be suppressed by curcumin. This phytochemical has been used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine to treat inflammation, hepatic disorders, biliary disorders, and multiple sclerosis. It is shown to enhance wound healing, protect against cataracts, and protect against pulmonary toxicity and fibrosis. The aim of the study is to evaluate 1 2 the effect of modeled microgravity on NF-KB activation and to develop countermeasures against the negative effects of microgravity.