Cassie is currently working with Dr. Jagan Valluri in the department of Biology. Cassie is Majoring in Microbiology where she is specializing in medical application of microbiology. She is also specializing in biomedical research and working on protein analysis.This summer, Cassie has worked with Dr. Jagan Valluri in the department of Biological sciences on the "Effects of Microgravity on Plant cell cultures."
"NASA engineered bioreactors are designed to simulate microgravity. To study the effects of microgravity, plant cells and the nutrients for growth are placed in the bioreactor. The cells are in constant free fall which allows them to come together and form 3-D tissue aggregates. Close apposition of the plant cells in the absence of shear forces presumably promotes cell-cell contacts, cell aggregation and cell differentiation.
We are currently evaluating the 3-D in vitro growth and biomasscharacteristics of plant cell cultures in simulated microgravity versus standard 1-g conditions."