Document Type


Date of Award



College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (COSET)

Degree Name

MS in Biology

First Advisor

Professor Shishir Shishodia


Astronauts aboard the space station are subject to the hazardous effects of ionizing radiation and microgravity. They receive an average of 80mSv radiation for a sixmonth stay in the space, which is more than 30 times as much as the average human on Earth receives. Exposure to ionizing radiation causes i􁪽creased ionization in the cells and tissues which severely affects the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and bone marrow. Chronic irradiation causes cancer, birth anomalies, erythema, and dysfunctions to almost all organs of the body depending on the total dose and site of irradiation. Ionizing radiation, through signs of inflammation, has been shown to activate the pro-inflammatory transcription factor Nuclear FactorkappaB. NF-KB regulates the expression of over 200 genes that control the immune system, growth, and inflammation. The dysregulation of NF-KB can mediate a wide variety of diseases including cancer; therefore, a robust effort is necessary to understand the effect of high-energy space radiation on NF-KB activation. Identification of specific and pharmacologically safe inhibitors of NF-KB activation can have considerable therapeutic potential against high-energy radiation related damage. A large number of phytochemicals are known to mediate therapeutic effects, possibly through suppression of the NF-KB activation pathway. The

mechanism of high-energy radiation induced activation of NF-KB and NF-KB regulated inflammatory gene products will be examined in vitro and in vivo models.