Tessa and mentee Alia send experiment to space!

Last year Tessa mentored 14-year old Alia Almansoori, who became the winner of the Genes in Space competition in the United Arab Emirates. Genes in Space challenges middle and high school students to design a PCR-based experiment they would like to be performed in space on a miniPCR machine - and the winner has their experiment actually performed in space. Alia proposed to study the effects of space and microgravity on the induction of the heat shock proteins in C. elegans.

Since Alia's win, Tessa and Alia worked together with Zeke Alvarez-Saavedra to design the final experiment for space. Tessa and Zeke prepared the samples in the Schier lab, and Tessa and Alia met in person for the first time at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where they received a private tour of the Boeing facility, Alia performed press interviews, and they finally watched the Space-X rocket launch into space carrying their experiment.

On August 31st astronaut Peggy Whitson performed the experiment on board the International Space Station, and soon the samples will be sent back to earth, where Tessa will analyze them.

You can read more about the project on the MCB website:


Congratulations Alia and Tessa!