Genes in Space Competition Selects 2024 Finalist Student Teams

Genes in Space National STEM Competition Finalists Compete to Launch Experiment to Space

Winning student experiment will be carried out on the International Space Station

May 20, 2024, Cambridge, MA – Five teams of high school students from across the nation were named Finalists in the Genes in Space annual science competition, which challenges students from grades 7 through 12 to propose DNA analysis experiments that address real-life space exploration challenges. Founded by Boeing and miniPCR bio™ with additional sponsorship from New England Biolabs® and the ISS National Laboratory, Genes in Space works with the winning team to have the experiment performed aboard the International Space Station (ISS). This year, 680 teams submitted proposals to the competition, representing a record 231 schools across 38 states. The program has also highlighted this year’s ten Honorable Mention awardees.

The five Finalists will present their proposals to a panel of judges at the ISS Research & Development Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 31st, 2024. The judges will select a winning team and announce the result at the conclusion of the conference, on August 1st.

The winning team will prepare their experiment to be carried out on the ISS and will watch their experiment launch to space. Scientists from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will mentor the Finalists as they prepare their presentations, and will continue to work with the winning team as they ready their experiment for implementation on the ISS.

Meet the 2024 Finalists:

Julia Gross (17) & Isabelle Chuang (16) from The Nightingale-Bamford School in New York, NY

Topic: Real-time Tracking of Microgravity-Induced Effects on Phage-Host Interactions Using Fluorescence




Sean Lee (15) & Vedant Mehta (16) from Lambert High School in Suwanee, GA

Topic: SilicoSensor: Detecting Airborne Silicone Using a Fluorescent Biosensor System




Aarush Tutiki (16) & Dhruv Grandhe (17) from Albuquerque Academy in Albuquerque, NM

Topic: Nanoparticle-mediated siRNA Delivery to Inhibit SOST Expression and Minimize Bone Density Loss in Space




Minjun Kim (17) & Daniel Syed (15) from International Academy Central in Bloomfield Hills, MI

Topic: Monitoring the Rate of Fibrin Clot Development in Human Plasma Under Microgravity Conditions


Megan Chiu (16) from Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, MD

Topic: Liquid-liquid Phase Separation in Space: Potential Effects on Neurodegeneration and Brain Aging




About Genes in Space™

Genes in Space is a national STEM contest that challenges students in grades 7 through 12 to design DNA analysis experiments using the ISS National Lab, a platform for cutting-edge research that enables future space exploration. The contest is a collaboration between miniPCR bio™ and The Boeing Company, with support from the ISS National Laboratory and New England Biolabs®.

Media contacts:

miniPCR bio: Marc Bliss,, +1 (781) 990-8727

Boeing: Rebecca Regan, +1 (321) 607-2297

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