SHREVEPORT, La. - Dr. Xiao-Hong Lu, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neuroscience at LSU Health Shreveport, received a $750,000 grant from The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Biological and Physical Sciences Division’s Space Biology Program to develop a novel genetic engineering technology to evaluate the impact of space radiation on the human brain.
Dr. Lu’s research team will use the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) at Brookhaven National Laboratory to simulate cosmic radiation in space vehicles and on the Martian surface to determine if long-term exposure to radiation causes adverse consequences to the brain. Major concerns have been raised that deep space flight may also lead to long-lasting brain injury or late-onset neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia or Parkinson’s disease.
The research team includes co-investigators Dr. Lynn Harrison, Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at LSU Health Shreveport; Dr. Jeffery Chancellor, Assistant Professor at LSU Baton Rouge; and Dr. Urska Cvek, Professor at LSU Shreveport.