Genes in Space winner Sophia Chen

2017 Genes in Space Winner Sophia Chen designed an experiment to study the effects of DNA damage in astronauts and their susceptibility to cancer.


This High School student is working to keep our astronauts safe!

My name is Sophia Chen, I go to Lakeside High School in Seattle, Washington, and I am one of the 2017 Genes in Space winners. On a deep space mission, such as the upcoming journey to Mars, their DNA could be damaged as well as their DNA repair mechanisms.

The astronauts' genetic code could then mutate and create tumors leading to cancer.

This is going to be tested using sequences of DNA that consist of repeats of 2-6 base pairs. Analyzing mutations will better our understanding of the effects of the space environment on cancer susceptibility.

Now her experiment is going to be studied in the International Space Station.

Being interested in the topic that I chose really made the research process fun.

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