Topical Day | Animal models in space research

October 4, 2019   Mol (BELGIUM)


Research in space on the ISS and on earth with space analogues is accelerating scientific discovery, technological innovation, and space exploration for the scientific world. This topical day will focus on what has been accomplished to date and ways to improve animal models in order to study and improve crew health in space and human health on Earth. In space, the extreme environment composed of microgravity, chronic stress and ionizing radiation affects the human crew and results in homeostatic disturbances in physiology, behavior, and development of individual cells and organisms that in some ways mimic the onset and progression of disease on Earth. The purpose of this topical day is twofold: (1) review animal models used to study space-related health problems, and (2) discuss future pathways for sustaining and improving the current space animal model research in Europe, with an emphasis on the development of new collaborations. In this context we have invited external, renowned speakers which are active in this research field to give presentations, coupled to discussion sessions to stimulate the exchange of ideas.


  • Review recent experimental details, scientific findings, and “lessons-learned” from the different animal models used in space research
  • Identify scientific activities in Europe to promote animal studies in the field of space research to enable space exploration and benefit human health on Earth
  • Identify opportunities to share tissues, maximize science return, and develop collaborations that maximize animal model research scientific return to the community