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The Inventivity Pod
Space Pod: Using Microgravity in Space to Advance and Improve Health on Earth
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For 20 years the International Space Station has served as a microgravity lab in the sky. Every day there are dozens of experiments being run that are designed to improve humankind. Dr. Siobhan Malany, Founder and President of Micro-grx, is using the test lab to study how to reduce muscle atrophy here on earth. Join us as we discuss what it takes to run such an experiment and why space makes for such a great testing environment.

 

TRANSCRIPT:

 

Intro:

Inventors and their inventions. Welcome to Radio Cade a podcast from the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention in Gainesville, Florida. The museum is named after James Robert Cade, who invented Gatorade in 1965. My name is Richard Miles. We’ll introduce you to inventors and the things that motivate them, we’ll learn about their personal stories, how their inventions work, and how their ideas get from the laboratory to the marketplace.

James Di Virgilio :

Welcome to another edition of Radio Cade’s space podcast series today’s guest is studying human tissues, specifically how they respond and microgravity and how that may help us improve the human condition here on earth. My guest today is Dr. Siobhan Malany, the founder, and president of Micro GRX and associate professor at the University of Florida. So many other things we could add to your title, Dr. Malany, we’re excited to have you today. We’re excited to talk about what you’re working on, a welcome to the program.

Dr. Siobhan Malany:

Thank you. I’m excited to talk about it. It’s a fun, exciting, and challenging field.

James Di Virgilio :

So I’ve read a lot about your backstory and for those listeners, obviously that have not in general, you find yourself in 2011, a background in pharmacology, and you’re going to watch a space shuttle launch, and this is going to change really the next decade of your life. Right? And so tell me about what got you interested in space. I think as we’ve done this space podcast space seems like this huge, enormous sci fi endeavor, but in your case, I think reading through your story, it’s actually a really great example of how it’s really not as far away from maybe many of our own individual lives or things we’ve already learned as we may think it’s just a different environment, but talk to us about how those dots connected for you and how you went from something that seems far away from space, in fact, to working primarily in space.

Dr. Siobhan Malany:

Yeah, it’s a fun story because my family and I had just recently moved from San Diego where I was working in the biotechnology industry and 2010 and its the recession. And we’re really starting over in some sense, and coming to Florida and I was working at the Sanford Burnham Institute in Orlando. So you come to Florida and one of the things to do in Florida is go see a launch. And so I had the opportunity to go to the Endeavor launch in 2011 and it’s in the middle of the night trying to keep yourself awake and started to talk to actually a teacher that was sending experiments up to look at crystallography and how crystal’s, form and thats really been a big advancement in space because without gravity, you have this perfect formation of crystals . So that has always been one of the things that’s been studied in space. And that makes sense. He said, they’re really looking for researchers to send experiments to space. And it’s like, well, that’s very fun pharmacologist. What would I do in space? I mean, I do screening of compounds and biological assays, and we’re looking at drug discovery and how would I use space to do that? Um, but then he invited me to a workshop where there were students that were studying types of experiments on suborbital flights . And it’s just a little workshop at the Kennedy Space Center. I went and just took some lunchtime from Orlando, went over there and really started to think about what could you do in space? And there was some technology folks that said, you know, we’re putting a plate reader on a space station and they read or something we use in the pharmaceutical industry all the time. It’s a way to read a light signal from cells to give you an indication of whether you have a positive or negative response. It’s kind of a workhorse instrument. I , well , that’s really interesting. Then you could actually do some types of experiments that make sense in the drug discovery world. And that really sparked my interest. So I started to talk a lot more with folks at Kennedy Space Center and the Center for Advancement in Science and Space was starting to formulate. And they were in charge through a contract with NASA to engage researchers on a space station and start to really utilize the International Space Station as a research laboratory. And so they started to have white papers and I became involved in a competition, which said, if you could put something in a 10 centimeter by 10 centimeter box, what would you do in a of proposal? It could be accepted and you could send this to space. And so I did that and was accepted for the small competition to just send these microtiter plates to the space station, to calibrate this plate reader. Something I thought was simple enough, cheap enough to do. Wasn’t really sure what the impact was, but we did this and we needed a logo and it’s , I came up with Micro GRX logo. And then when there were funding opportunities, that logo became actually the company. So we founded Micro GRX in 2015 and then we’ve gone into other experiments from there.

James Di Virgilio :

And your funding source primarily, how are you able to run the variety of research studies that you’re running? How are you funded?

Dr. Siobhan Malany:

So the , from that competition, which was with Space Florida, so Space Florida was really the initiator for me. And you’ve talked with Tony Gannon , you had him on your show recently, and he’s very energetic and they’ve been Space Florida for the last five years have really been trying to develop partnerships with other countries. And Israel has been one of those. They had a collaboration that was called the Florida Israel Innovation Program, and they have every year, some funding opportunities. And so Tony had actually reached out and said, you know, you’ve done this competition for , you should think about these other opportunities, which involved a for-profit company and well I’m in a nonprofit company, but you know, you just won the for-profit and it did that and proposed to look at this more lab on a chip type of experimentation to go from something that was more of a fire chemical type of experiment to something that is using human cells and can use micro gravity to understand changes in doing so that might indicate a disease process or a degenerative process. And so we combined efforts with an Israel company called Space Pharma. And so that was the first seed funding for Micro GRX. And we needed to raise additional matching funds, which we got through the Center for Advancement of Science and Space, which then got us to the International Space Station to send experiment in 2018 to the ISS.

James Di Virgilio :

And that 2018 experiment is one that is close to my heart. I love fitness. I like lifting weights. I like the idea of muscle building and everything that comes with that. And of course, to anyone who likes to try to strengthen their body, one of the big things you’re concerned with is muscle atrophy. You obviously fear losing your muscle. As we age, we know we tend to lose muscle mass in space is vastly accelerated. So the study that you did on muscle atrophy, as you’re using this test kitchen of microgravity, this lab on a chip, right, this small little area to gain data, what are some insights you learned and how does that set you up and encourage you for the future of using this? Let’s call it a space lab to basically improve our lives.

Dr. Siobhan Malany:

Yeah. This has been a key question. So what astronauts go through, why they’re in space? There’s a number of challenges they do face, lucky for them that when they come back to earth, this is a reversible process, but there are effects on the cardiovascular system. We lose immune suppression . There’s a lot of things that happen to the body in microgravity . When you take away that pull on our organs and on our tissues, you have osteoarthritis, it’s a lot of musculoskeletal issues. You get bone loss and muscle atrophy, and they occur in this accelerated timeframe. And that process at a tissue level is somewhat like how we age and as we age, you know , things decline. And so muscle wasting due to age is really a health burden on earth. And so the idea of how do we exploit this microgravity effects on cells and tissues, to understand how to fight diseases, understanding how to perhaps find new drug targets and testing therapeutics. So that’s kind of the idea. And in 2018, we were really looking at more just muscle 2D cultures to see, do we just keep cells alive? You’re looking at a small shoe box that has really a laboratory inside it. I mean, it’s got a refrigerator, it’s got an ability to heat things. It has fluid mechanics and it’s a feed nutrients itself have a camera system. You know, it’s all on a shoe box and it has to operate and store data and download data. This is a big challenge. You’re almost creating the technology has you’re studying the biology and you’re doing it completely automated and putting it on a rocket. So, you know, it’s exciting, but it’s like really terrifying because many things can shut the whole system off and you don’t get data. And that’s the hard part of this is the rocket business. It’s just, there are so many variables you just can’t control, but in our first launch, and we did have some issues with that in terms of communication and of the payload, but we learned how to make a sterile environment, send this to space and look at culturing . So we didn’t really get the data back we wanted on this first flight, but we’ve built enough expertise on how to do this, that we’re now two years later launching another one. That’s now looking at three-dimensional muscle bundles. So these tissue chips mimic the function of human tissue . Interestingly, in this one is we actually put electrodes into these tissue bundles and as we know muscles contract, and so we can stimulate the muscles and they are 3D and they can do some contraction . So we can look at this now functional response in real time. So that’s the excitement of this payload. And then after a certain amount of time, a couple of weeks we’ll actually preserve these cells. They come back to us and we’ll look at the gene changes that occur from the tissue. And we’ll also be collecting their waste media to look at anything they might secrete like inflammatory type of markers. They might be secreted. And so trying to get a lot of data out of this one experiment and the idea then it’s to not only advance the technology, but really develop some disease age model in these human tissues that can be used to look at new target drug targets can also be used to test therapeutics in future flights. And that’s the real idea behind the whole concept of the tissue chip in space.

James Di Virgilio :

Now let’s talk about this tissue chip, give us a visualization of what this is my imagining like a micro chip with some fuzz on it. If you will, some material that is functioning as a tissue chip, I have no idea if I have the right mental picture or not. What does this look like if I’m to be seeing it visually.

Dr. Siobhan Malany:

It’s micro-scale so think of a thumb drive size units , and it has inlets and outlets so that there’s fluid flowing through because our cells and tissues constantly need nutrients. They’re in a kind of a silicon type of containment so that there is ability to exchange air and gas, so need to be buffered. And so there’s carbon dioxide in the box and that allows a buffering system and there’s fluid exchange. And so, but they are really quite small. And so our little muscle bundle that we inject, and these are from muscle biopsy cells, from volunteers who advent health. So we collect the muscle biopsies when collaborating with them, isolate those cells, put them in kind of a gel scaffold. And they really form these tight bundles around some goal posts that we have and then tissue chip, and they’re able to contract. And then the silicon chip is viewable. So we have a camera system that can align on top of the chip and actually take pictures and videos and get a contraction rate. That’s the idea, but they’re micro scale . So the bundle is maybe seven millimeters long. It’s very small. So we’ll have 16 of these tissue chips in our payload. And actually half of them come from volunteers that are of older age, over 60 and of younger age, which are under 40. So we’ll be able to look at the function of both of those types of cell types.

James Di Virgilio :

And so when you talk about a contraction, I’m imagining that these muscle cells in space are mimicking like what you would do right now, if you’re listening and you’ve flexed a bicep, well , you’re tense to your forearm, right? That’s the contraction you’re looking at. And you’re able to stimulate these cells to make them either contract or relax or whatever it is you want them to do while they’re in space.

Dr. Siobhan Malany:

Right, yeah. And the camera system can just basically look at that pixel displacement, if you’re just looking at a chain, something shortens or goes longer, you’re taking a picture of that. And so you can then map out what that rate is of where to go short and long, and that contraction ,

James Di Virgilio :

This is done from earth. You’re able to sit into a lab here on earth and press buttons or manipulate things, or is there an operator?

Dr. Siobhan Malany:

We work with implementation partner, which put together the payload. So we’re really a biologist here. So my projects have been developing the actual chip device, which in itself is a product that can be used for different cell types. And then University of Florida, we’re doing the muscle biology. And we work with Space Tango, which is a implementation partner. So they have a hosting platform on the ISS. They’re able to tap into the vehicle. It’s almost like a locker system that you can slide these shoe-box units into. And they’re providing the electronics and the environment cooling and heating capabilities of this payload and the camera system. And so we work very closely with them in order to develop the entire system to work together, to communicate. And so from earth then, we have really a set protocol that we’ll use. So you kind of hit the go button when we hand over the payload and it has a process it’ll go through for two weeks, but there’s ability to communicate with it, maybe change a valve or initiate a process earlier or later, you also can get down linked images. But again, all these processes are really been developed as we’re doing all of this. So we get smarter and smarter. We learn a lot. So it’s very much a technology advancement as well as it’s about getting biological data, which is the real thing that we need is, is that data is really valuable in order to show that you can use the space station for what could be very commercialized opportunities.

James Di Virgilio :

Yeah. That’s a great description. Now, does any of this require a human in the space station to move something, grab something, do something, or is all of this entirely automated?

Dr. Siobhan Malany:

So the box is entirely automated, the only thing and this is more of the photo op if the astronaut takes it at the end of the experiment, about 15 days in orbit, and we actually add this preservation, so it preserves the cells so that we can extract RNA when we get it back. And then it put from 37 degree environment into a freezer that’s minus 30. And all the astronauts doing then is just taking it from that one locker system into the freezer. And then it’s brought whenever there’s an opportunity to bring it back down to earth, it’s b rought back. And that’s really the only intervention that we a sked for o n the astronaut, which i s g reat. C ause there’s hundreds of experiments going out, I mean real estate on these rockets, it’s getting very competitive. So i f a n a stronaut h ad t o d o all of these experiments it would never work. So really respect t hat, that want everything to be automated. That gives us the opportunity to do more sampling, have larger payloads and incense, be able to do a lot more of these types of experiments without needing to have a stronauts d o a ny kind of work.

James Di Virgilio :

This is such a great description of what an international space station, right? What it’s actually doing. I think to the general public, to many people, it’s sort of this mystery, like what happens here? We’re sending astronauts there. I’ve heard of these experiments that are being done there, but as you’ve described it, I think you’ve given a really tangible picture of what happens. And you’re also describing really well, this new frontier and of course space is called the last frontier, the new frontier, whatever you want to call it, right? It is a frontier. And it’s great to hear you also describe the challenges that anyone faces when they’re pioneering. Something is it’s not just, well, let’s run this experiment. It’s as you mentioned, you have to wind up solving all of these other variables, just to get the experiment to work. And every single time you’re learning more and more, it’s making you more efficient. It’s allowing you to study more. So given where you are now, all these factors, all these things you’ve learned, you’re progressing along. I’m sure your excitement level is really, really high. But as you get back this data from this experiment, you’re hoping to get enough information to then I’m imagining running another experiment. That’s going to then begin to look at what you may do to be able to solve some of these issues with muscle atrophy and other things like that. Right? That’s kind of the goal is to get yourself to the point to where you can begin to test some ideas and some thesises on how to improve the condition.

Dr. Siobhan Malany:

Right. The biggest risk of all this is that you don’t get data. And there’s talking about a piece of fluff in the system blocks about, or you have corrosion or you have a wire that comes off and you can’t communicate. I mean, these are really pretty simple things that can happen, that don’t allow you to get that data. And you have rocket launches that you have to work around or rocket delays that affect your timing on all of those teams . We have to have backup tissue chips ready to go. And it’s really a complicated thing that even if you look at experiment in the laboratory and you try it and like, Oh, you know something didn’t quite go, right. I have to try it again. Well, you don’t get to try it again. This is the one time. So it’s a lot of risks, but I do hope to get data from that. So that in order to say, look, we do see these contraction changes. This kind of decline in an accelerated timeframe that could write. Give us an indication of why the age related. And so weakness, something that occurs over many, many years. We might see these processes happen faster and we can see where we might want to do therapeutic intervention to solve muscle atrophy. And so this is setting the stage on this flight to just be able to go through themselves, get the contraction rate, look at team changes. And then the next flight, which will be two years from now, we’re actually going to be delivering actual clinical candidate drugs and see what the response is on the cells . So that is the whole idea. If you have a disease model and that’s predicting a human response or a human toxicity, the next is can you actually apply potential therapeutics and see the right response and the right effect ? And that’s the goal for future flights. Dr. Malany, how many other companies are doing what you’re doing? Are there a bunch of them? Is it just you, what does that landscape look like? The landscape has changed dramatically since 2011 and 2014 competition. And thinking about lab on a chip, I think I’ve felt sort of like a rogue scientist. Like what are you doing? And what does it mean? But now it is really the last four years or so, just exponentially grown in terms of the number of small companies, academic institutions that are jumping on this to say, Hey, we have model systems. We have tissue chips . And we’re looking at kidney stones, we’ll astronauts, kidney stones, much more prevalently. We’re looking at arthritis. We’ve got rodent studies working with muscle atrophy. And so pharma companies are sending animal studies up there. So there’s quite a bit of activity and experiments going up. The national institutes of health had two rounds of funding. They funded five different groups, looking at different human tissue chip . And in the second opportunity, they had four more awards. So there was nine institutes and space programs going on. But other than that, they’re also NASA funded and other for-profit academic institutions that are sending small micro experiments to test human function, tissue and organs.

James Di Virgilio :

So then a lot of these companies, as you mentioned, primarily, a research base, right? They’re probably many years away from potentially creating a profitable product. So is there a lot of competition to get your idea, essentially, Hey, I want to solve this problem or study in this arena. Is there a lot of competition to get those funded?

Dr. Siobhan Malany:

There is a lot of competition it’s becoming more accessible to access space. It’s really about having the advanced technology being ready, ready to launch and having that, being able to package if you’re taking a laboratory and shoving it into a shoe box and being able to do that efficiently. And like I said, if we’re looking at SpaceX 21 is like, are we really ready? You know the camera systems, still need a little bit of work. We could prove a lot more things. We could run a lot more ground studies, but going off of this flight and maybe a year or so before we might get on another flight, because they’re really full of science payloads, which is exciting. But I do think that there’s a lot of communication with NIH and the ISS national lab to have investigators really think about what are our survival opportunities, where are the gaps and challenges so that in five or 10 years, we were really getting the right return on its investment. So there is a big push to get this data back, to show some proof of concept so that there is ability to refine. So we fly, maybe get more statistically larger sample sizes and do more different types of end points . This is very much a proving ground. Is this worth the investment? And what can we get out in the future? There are companies that are actually using it to do, for example, formulations and different manufacturing of different types of, for example, lenses, because the lack of gravity really has an advantage when you’re trying to create the perfect type of crystals or types of materials, bioprinting , you can do easier, being in a no gravity situation. So there’s a lot of commercial opportunities that people are investigating.

James Di Virgilio :

So the thought here then what comes to mind is I’m managing the International Space Station. And I have a limited amount of space on my station to run these experiments. And as you mentioned, a lot of people want space on my station. They want a slot. How am I assigning? Who gets those slots?

Dr. Siobhan Malany:

Great question. That’s what I’m thinking about. I need to get on a flight. Who am I talking to you, but the implementation partners, their own hosting platform . So they have space on every rocket, a number of these small companies that have pretty much a locker system, but if you’re funded by NASA, of course, you also have the opportunity to fly. So it’s really, you need to collaborate with some NASA certified partner to have space on the rockets and they are filling up. And so people may shift and there’s rodent studies. Like I mentioned, they used to get quite a bit of precedent because those are very expensive studies. You know, I think there are more and more rockets that are being launched, which is helpful, but there’s a lot of delays as well. And so things can pile up, but we’ve been manifested on this road past year and a half. But again, if you slip off of a launch, it’s challenging to find space on other one.

James Di Virgilio :

Yeah. It’s really interesting. When you just think of the logistics of all of that, I could probably spend a whole podcast talking with you on how that works and is it a free market solution where we’re essentially going to say it’s a law of supply and demand and therefore the person that’s willing to pay the most for the space gets it. And then the end, you can make an argument that’s most efficient or is it going to be, what’s deemed to be most important for humanity. So many ways to go there that are interesting, but let’s connect all of the dots here to a really big picture idea. So obviously your company is called Micro GRX. You’ve talked about micro gravity being important, right? And micro G being important. Why is micro gravity a good laboratory? Why is it better than studying things here on earth? Like what makes it so special?

Dr. Siobhan Malany:

It’s a big variable. I mean, if you think about our tissues and organs are subject to gravity, you that’s , that’s how they form. That’s how they function. So when you take that away, what happens, and we know that astronauts go through these changes and they come back and they’ve got to sit in a wheelchair and they’re weaker and it happens really fast, quite fast. And so then when you take away the pull , it’s almost as if you’re might be in bed rest for a long time, you have an injury that causes you to not put load on something, or you’re already getting that in my microgravity. And so there’s enough experiments that have non aspects so that there is stress responses and changes in metabolites and things like this that can be exploited to look at disease processes and then find ways to inhibit those for the benefit of fighting illness and diseases on earth. The other idea, I think one of the exciting too , that pharmaceutical companies doing is it’s very challenging to concentrating antibodies. When you have a lack of gravity, you have better, more perfect formation of crystals. And this gets into nano delivery and nanotechnology, you don’t have to have cross-linking regions when you’re doing bioprinting because you don’t have this hole on one direction. So there’s a lot of advantages for even just manufacturing things in microgravity, as well as there’s obviously degenerative processes that occur that you can explain in terms of disease modeling .

James Di Virgilio :

It’s so interesting to think about being here on earth. If you’d like, you just did there connect all these dots and we , you just simplify it. And you imagine this area of space just being like you set an area with a different set of conditions, and you can imagine the game if you’re old enough, or if you’re young enough, I suppose, depending on how old you are, young yours, a listener, there was a game Oregon Trail that was very popular in the eighties and early nineties on PC. And you had to take your little eight bit character, and you’re trying to go out to the West and settle the West. And occasionally you’d run into trouble and you would get dysentery or your wagon to flip over in the water or whatever case may be in a new frontier market. But essentially if you live in an area that’s flat like Florida, and for the first time in your life, you go to a mountainous area in Colorado, right? The air is different, the environment is different. And of course that gives us a chance to learn, study and interact with same thing with a place like Antarctica. And obviously the same thing with space. And I think oftentimes space feels like, wow, that’s crazy. There’s the stars. There’s all of these things. But hearing you talk about it, hearing your background, hearing how your brother was into space and you weren’t so much, you know, we even talked about that really a lot today, but all these thoughts come together. Where in reality, you’re looking at space as a way to improve humanity here on earth. And that’s what so many explorers have done really since the beginning of people on this planet. And I’m sure in some way, do you feel that excitement, do you feel like you’re connected to all the pioneers that have lived before you that have done things with their search for new lands or attempt to find discoveries or curious for things? Or is it just a very granular, this is a task I’m doing it. This is what it takes to be able to accomplish the task.

Dr. Siobhan Malany:

I think there’s a little bit of both. It’s certainly added some excitement. I mean, coming from the biotech industry and sort of the high throughput world where you’re screening chemical libraries, fishing for something compound that says, okay, this is doing what I want. And now I’m going to develop an into a drug. That’s fine. But this has really opened up a whole other avenue that I’ve really taken some ownership on because it’s just been my curiosity that got me there and building microbes fast and exciting for me in terms of finding a niche that I’ve been developing. And now it’s really about got to get some data and proof that what we’re thinking is feasible and working investment and things like that. Now it’s more like we’ve got to get this done. You know, I’m talking with the technology partners and it’s like, okay , we’ve got to make sure that we run through this and we don’t get corrosion here. We don’t , I mean , needs are important. Failure’s not an option. You , we gotta do this, but there is a big failure rate and we have to fail smart and learn from it and be successful in standardized things and share ideas going forward. So there is a sense of being a pioneer in terms of setting the stage. This is one of the first experiments where on a space station, we’ll be delivering a electrical signal to cells in having a functional contraction. And that really hasn’t been done. And so that’s exciting, but lots can go wrong. But again, this is challenging, but if it wasn’t challenging, maybe I wouldn’t be interested. So there is a feeling of being a pioneer , but also understanding that it’s an expensive endeavor and it needs to make sense in terms of future commercialization opportunities and return on investment. So in terms of a business opportunity, but also be excited about space exploration.

James Di Virgilio :

Yeah . We here at the Cade Museum, of course celebrate innovation. We like to celebrate the people behind innovation, which is what we’ve done here today with you, is that for every idea, for every invention, for everything you’re looking at, for everything you use, a person had ideas and thoughts just like you’ve had Dr. Malany and they attempted to fix it or improve it or do something with it. And oftentimes they didn’t grow up thinking, this is exactly what I was going to do or am going to do, but they had this idea and they thought this would be great. Maybe I can begin to do this. And they of course accepted the risk. A lot of times it’s for a desire to improve something rather than a desire to make money. But you need funding to get things done topic for another day. But what I love to end this show with would be some words of wisdom from you. So you’ve had a very background, you’ve done a lot of things. You work, of course, again, with your brother, which is a family and business type environment. There’s many things I’m sure you could give us words of wisdom on, but to give the listeners some of your thoughts from your life and your experience, what are some words of wisdom for somebody who was about to maybe embark on an entrepreneurial venture of some sort or, or someone who’s already there, what do you think is some high level and important advice.

Dr. Siobhan Malany:

Mostly is to throw your hat in there and give it a shot. Cause you just don’t know how important or where something might go. And this was a case where it’s so unknown and not very accepted in the beginning for it’s not our priority . And so I think you have to balance that. And if there’s something you’re really passionate about, you got to give it a try. You gotta take a risk at some point like this from year to year, this really exploded and things can go very fast. So I would say take that risk and do what you’re passionate about doing and following the biggest device . The other one has learned a lot in the first round in 2018, we were working with an international group. So level of communication and getting on the phone or getting to talk to people and dealing with the details , making sure that everyone’s on page because there are so many things to overlook in this type of research in neurology and getting the right folks on board. That’s where my brother’s been really an amazing resource for me because he’s an engineer. So for me, talking with engineers, it’s tango and doing the biology, there was a gap in terms of where we overlapped and what we understood, what we didn’t know, we didn’t know. And so really finding the right people that can close the gaps . We , the biology with technology has been key. So that, that team environment, people that understand milestone driven research, because this is very much, you have to hit deadlines. So learning that early, getting things written down, getting documents , set up, that everybody understands. And that’s been the biggest learning curve for me as a researcher pushing forward. Those are some of my advice.

James Di Virgilio :

And for someone who now is actually sending right has sent things into space. That’s great here on earth and then Hey to the next frontier and beyond. And I’d be remissed. If I didn’t say this, hearing your story today and reading about it, that it seems like maybe some of the best advice to take away from your story is just solve one problem. At a time, you didn’t start in 2011 by saying, here’s what I’m going to do. And I’m going to be ready to send something to space within a month, but it takes years to figure out the things that you figured it out, but you were committed to solving each problem at a time you’re committed to that process. Now you’re doing what the team of people and you’re doing it with this lens of exploration. And I think all of those things have led to where you are now. It’s obviously been a wonderful to discuss these things with you. We look forward to following up with you to see how the experiment goes and certainly wish you nothing but success as you prepare for this launch. Thank you, Dr. Malany, founder and president of Micro GRX and associate professor at the university of Florida. It’s been Wonderful visiting with you.

Dr. Siobhan Malany:

Thank you so much. It’s been really fun to talk about it and share the excitement and some of the challenges.

James Di Virgilio :

For Radio Cade. I’m James Di Virgilio.

Outro:

Radio Cade is produced by the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention located in Gainesville, Florida. This podcast episodes host was James Di Virgilio and Ellie Thom coordinates, inventor interviews, podcasts are recorded and Hardwood, Soundstage, and edited and mixed by Bob McPeak . The Radio Cade theme song was produced and performed by Tracy Collins and features violinist, Jacob Lawson .

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