The Space Microbiology Laboratory studies the genetic and physiological responses of cells to the combined effect of microgravity and space-relevant radiation fluxes.

Specifically, we measure how simulated space conditions cause the regulation of gene expression, enzymatic activity and growth using advanced techniques of cellular physiology and transcriptome analysis. 

This lab is open to students with an inquisitive mind and an interest in the role of ionizing radiation on the ability of cells to respond to different forms of stress on Earth and in space. Working here, students will learn how to simulate space conditions and how to identify changes at the gene-expression level that explain physiological and behavioral responses – highly valuable skills for biomedical and aerospace careers.


  • Low-dose gamma irradiators and clinostats
  • Biosafety equipment for the safe manipulation biological samples
  • Multi-mode microplate reader to measure absorbance, fluorescence and luminescence in cells and cell extracts
  • Real-time PCR amplification system to measure gene expression and general microbiology and cellular biology equipment

Lab Information

Location: COAS 117.1

Lab Directors: Dr. Hugo Castillo

Contact Us: To speak to someone about this lab or any of our facilities, call us at 386-226-6100 or 800-862-2416, or email