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Miami student among 40 in Space Life Program


OXFORD, Ohio -- Miami University junior Sean Weise of 5552 Dry Ridge Road, Cincinnati, 45252, has been accepted into the NASA Space Life Sciences Training Program (SLSTP), a summer research program at the John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Weise was one of 40 undergraduate students nationwide chosen for the intensive six-week program allowing them to work with pre- and post-flight testing, data analysis and report preparation of actual and simulated space flight experiments.

He will work an extra six weeks with Dr. Chris Brown of the space center on a project related to the growth and development of soybeans in space. When he returns to Miami in the fall, he will continue the project in collaboration with John Kiss, associate professor of botany.html">botany at Miami.

The purpose of SLSTP is to provide students with practical experience in space life sciences research and operations. Students will spend half of their time planning and executing laboratory projects of current interest to NASA. They will also have lectures and informal discussions with leading scientists, engineers and astronauts from universities, industry and NASA.

Students will receive transportation and living expenses to attend the program.

The NASA Biomedical Office at the Kennedy Space Center coordinates this program and others under the MARS (Mission to America's Remarkable Students) program.

At Miami, Weise has worked with Kiss on studies of plant gravitational biology related to two space flight experiments Kiss sent on space shuttle flights in 1997.

Weise presented the results of his studies of gravitropism in flower stalks of the plant Arabidopsis at the 1997 meeting of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology (ASGSB) in Washington, D.C. "His performance could be rated as very good for a graduate student and even more exemplary since he is an undergraduate researcher. In addition, I am sure a peer-reviewed publication will result from his studies," said Kiss.

Weise has received four other awards related to his research: a Miami University Summer Scholars award; a Miami University Undergraduate Research Grant; and two travel grants (one from a National Science Foundation-supported program and another from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute) to pay his expenses to the ASGSB meeting.


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