2017 ISS R&D Conference - Save the Date

ISS R&D Conference

Your Catalyst for Discovery

July 18-20, 2017

Learn More View 2016 Resources

2016 ISS R&D Conference - Media and Resources

ISS R&D Conference

Your Catalyst for Discovery

July 18-20, 2017

Learn More View 2016 Resources


July 12-14, 2016


San Diego, CA


International Experts

Event Details

ISS R&D Conference 2016

Join us at the International Space Station R&D Conference 2016 and learn how microgravity can serve as Your Catalyst for Discovery. During this interactive and intensive three-day conference, hear from leaders within the academic, commercial and government communities who are all leveraging the International Space Station and pushing their research to new heights.

Your gateway to innovation, breakthroughs & discovery onboard the International Space Station.


Dr. Sanjay Gupta - Keynote Speaker

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Emmy® Award-Winning
Chief Medical
Correspondent, CNN

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the multiple Emmy® award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN. Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon, plays an integral role in CNN's reporting on health and medical news for all of CNN's shows domestically and internationally, and contributes to CNN.com. Additionally, Dr. Gupta is the host of Vital Signs for CNN International and Accent Health for Turner Private Networks. As host of Vital Signs, Dr. Gupta took viewers aboard a mockup of the ISS to see how medical research in space is benefiting humanity.


Dr. Eric Topol - Keynote Speaker

Dr. Eric Topol

Scripps Research Institute
& Scripps Translational Science Institute

Eric Topol is a professor of genomics at the Scripps Research Institute, the director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI), and the chief academic officer for Scripps Health. As a researcher, he has published 1,100 peer-reviewed articles, with more than 165,000 citations, elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and is one of the top 10 most cited researchers in medicine (Thomson Reuters ISI, “Doctor of the Decade”). He was the #1 most Influential physician leader in the United States in a national poll conducted by Modern Healthcare. He has edited several textbooks and published two bestseller books on the future of medicine: The Creative Destruction of Medicine and The Patient Will See You Now.

Astronaut Scott Kelly - Speaker

Scott Kelly

Former NASA Astronaut

Scott Kelly (Captain, USN, Ret.) recently returned from 340 days onboard the ISS, the longest continuous stay of any American astronaut in microgravity.

Dr. Mark Kelly - Keynote Speaker

Mark Kelly

Former Nasa Astronaut

Mark Kelly (Captain, USN, Ret.) is a decorated astronaut who has logged approximately 54 days in space over the span of four separate shuttle missions.

Dr. Peter H. Diamandis - Keynote Speaker

Dr. Peter H. Diamandis

Executive Chairman, XPRIZE Foundation
Co-Founder/Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources

Dr. Peter H. Diamandis is an international pioneer in the fields of innovation, incentive competitions and commercial space. In 2014 he was named one of "The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders" – by Fortune Magazine.

In the field of Innovation, Diamandis is founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, best known for its $10 million Ansari XPRIZE for private spaceflight. He is also the co-founder and vice-chairman of Human Longevity Inc. (HLI). In the field of commercial space, Diamandis is co-founder/co-chairman of Planetary Resources, a company designing spacecraft to enable the detection and prospecting of asteroid for precious materials. He is also the co-founder of Space Adventures and Zero-Gravity Corporation.

Plenary Headliners

  • Robert Bigelow
    President, Bigelow Aerospace
  • John Elbon
    Vice President, Boeing
  • Brandon Farwell
    Partner, Rothenberg Ventures
  • William H. Gerstenmaier
    Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations, NASA
  • Millie Hughes-Fulford
    University of California, San Francisco
  • Greg Johnson
    President & Executive Director, CASIS
  • Michael Roberts
    Deputy Chief Scientist, CASIS
  • Julie Robinson
    Chief Scientist, International Space Station, NASA
  • Kirk Shireman
    Manager, International Space Station, NASA
  • Rosamund Smith
    Research Fellow, Biotechnology Discovery Research, Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ellen Stofan
    Chief Scientist, NASA
  • Michael T. Suffredini
    President, Commercial Space Division, SGT

Conference Agenda

Registration Open

JAXA/NASA Joint Workshop: Maximizing the Outcome of the ISS and "Kibo"

In December 2015, the governments of Japan and the U.S. announced the establishment of the Japan-U.S. Open Platform Partnership Program regarding the cooperative operation of the International Space Station through at least 2024. Through this program, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA encourage researchers and entities from both countries to mutually utilize experiment hardware between the ISS U.S. National Laboratory and the Japanese Experiment Module (also known as JEM or Kibo). This JAXA/NASA Joint Workshop presents major achievements of ISS/JEM utilization as well as JEM’s available experiment hardware and services for potential users to maximize the outcome of JEM and the ISS.

  • William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator, Human Exploration And Operations Mission Directorate, NASA
  • Takashi Hamazaki, Director General, Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate, JAXA
  • Dr. Julie Robinson, ISS Chief Scientist, NASA
  • Kazuyuki Tasaki, Director, JEM Utilization Center, JAXA
  • Tetsuya Sakashita, Manager For Life And Physical Science, JAXA
  • Hiroki Akagi, Engineer, JEM Mission Operations And Integration, JAXA
View Resources

ISS Opportunity Workshop for New Users Featuring Astronaut Rick Mastracchio

NASA Astronaut Rick Mastracchio, a veteran of four space- flight missions, will join the New User Workshop at ISSRDC to highlight the exciting science and technology projects being conducted on the ISS and the importance of enabling opportunities for new researchers. This workshop connects and educates prospective researchers, entrepreneurs, and financiers about the benefits, resources, and accessibility of using the ISS National Lab. This session will offer perspectives from current ISS users, space R&D experts, and ISS Program leaders about how the ISS National Lab can benefit your R∓D objectives.

  • Discover the unique research capabilities of the ISS National Lab
  • Learn why innovative users are advancing their research in space
  • Gain insight on current opportunities to leverage the ISS National Lab for new research
  • Connect with key influencers to help you further engage with the ISS R&D community
View Resources

Opening Reception (sponsored by Orbital ATK)


Continental Breakfast (sponsored by FedEx)

Conference Welcome: Congressman Scott Peters (52nd District of California)

Welcome: Kirk Shireman, Greg Johnson, Lyn Wigbels

Introductions and ISS Program Perspectives

Morning Keynote: Dr. Eric Topol, Scripps Research Institute, Scripps Translational Science Institute, and the Scripps Health & Dr. Ellen Stofan, NASA

Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and one of the leading minds in medicine, will discuss his work in genomics and digital medicine as a featured keynote speaker at ISSRDC. Dr. Topol will be joined by Dr. Ellen Stofan, NASA’s chief scientist, for an insightful discussion on the future of digital medicine, the impact of space science on current genomics studies, and how digital medicine is changing health care delivery both on Earth and in space.


Markets in Motion: Developing Markets in Low Earth Orbit

Increased commercial activity in space has gradually transformed low Earth orbit into an emerging market. This session will focus on four development areas—biological and pharmaceutical, Earth imaging, materials science, and space transportation—where companies are finding and targeting customer groups that have the potential to develop into market sectors in low Earth orbit.

  • John Olson, Vice President, Sierra Nevada Corporation (moderator)
  • Kris Kimel, President, Kentucky Space
  • Mike Safyan, Director Of Launch And Regulatory Affairs, Planet Labs
  • Stephanie Murphy, President, Alpha Space Test And Research Alliance
  • Erika Wagner, Business Development Manager, Blue Origin

2016 Innovations: Physical & Materials Science in Space

The International Space Station is a premier facility for physical and materials science research, particularly for commercial objectives. This session will explore how commercial companies are utilizing the ISS to develop, observe, or test products and processes in a way that cannot be replicated anywhere else, enabling commercial product advancement on Earth and potentially paving the way for future industrial manufacturing in space.

  • Jonathan Volk, Commercial Innovation Manager— Physical Sciences Lead, Casis (moderator)
  • Supriya Jaiswal, Ceo, Astrileux Corporation
  • Glenn Byczynski, Business Unit Engineering And R&D Manager, Nemak

Luncheon Keynote: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Former Astronauts Mark & Scott Kelly, Flight Surgeon Dr. Stevan Gilmore, and Twins Study Investigator Dr. Andrew Feinberg , Johns Hopkins University

This special keynote presentation will feature a conversation between Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, and former NASA Astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly. The discussion will focus on Scott Kelly’s “Year in Space” mission, the impact of the Twins Study, and how ISS research is advancing personalized medicine to benefit life on Earth.

Technical Breakout Sessions

Six concurrent tracks - More Info

The New Dawn of Global Space: Space Agency Initiatives on the ISS and Beyond to Promote Entrepreneurial, Commercial, and Academic Utilization of Space

Innovation and opportunity around humans in space is reaching new heights as activities on the ISS demonstrate the potential for microgravity research and technology development to expand knowledge for exploration and Earth benefits. This panel will feature senior representatives from ISS partner agencies discussing facilities and capabilities on ISS that are fueling discovery, current and planned initiatives on ISS, and the future of research and development in low Earth orbit as continued efforts to promote partnership, collaboration, and competition on the ISS, with an expanding commercial presence, continue to materialize.

  • William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA
  • Bernhard Hufenbach, Head of Strategic Planning Office, Directorate of Human Spaceflight and Exploration, European Space Agency
  • Takashi Hamazaki, Director General, Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate, JAXA
  • Gilles Leclerc, Director General, Space Exploration, Canadian Space Agency
  • Marybeth Edeen, Manager, ISS Research Integration Office, NASA (MODERATOR)

Networking Reception

Sponsored by Boeing


Continental Breakfast (sponsored by ULA)

Morning Kickoff

Welcome & Announcements

Morning Keynote Conversation: Salvatore T. “Tory” Bruno, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Launch Alliance; and Frank Culbertson, President, Space Systems Group, Orbital ATK. Moderated by Frank Morring, Senior Editor, Aviation Week & Space Technology.

As the commercial space sector continues to diversify and new users drive a growing demand for increased technological capabilities and services, it is clear that innovation is essential for long-term success in commercial spaceflight. Tory Bruno, President and CEO of United Launch Alliance (ULA), will share his thoughts on the evolving landscape of commercial space and highlight opportunities for innovation that will propel the commercial space industry to new levels of affordable space access.

Virtual Reality: Enabling Space Presence for All

Virtual reality has the potential to drive unprecedented social impact—truly demonstrating to the world how the International Space Station is a platform for technology advancement and a remarkable gateway to new possibilities. Ben Grossmann, consistently regarded as one of the nation's top VR experts, will share his experiences in developing leading VR content. Very soon, immersive VR telepresence will make the dream of space exploration a reality to people everywhere. Ben Grossmann's discussion will explore how consumer VR is disrupting applications here on Earth and enabling space presence for all.

  • Ben Grossmann, Academy Award-winning VFX Supervisor, VR Experience Designer, and Co-Founder of Magnopus
  • Greg Johnson, President and Executive Director, CASIS


From the New ISS Customer Experience to New Knowledge

NASA’s International Space Station Program is pursuing strategic efforts to maximize ISS research to increase laboratory throughput and repeated research opportunities, attract new users, and further utilize the ISS as a proving ground for viable commerce in space. This panel will feature existing ISS users and NASA’s ISS Program management team discussing current research, the evolution of the ISS Program, and how space commercialization, via the ISS, is connected to NASA’s vision for exploration.

  • Joel Montalbano, Deputy Manager, ISS Utilization, NASA
  • Dr. Margaret Clements, President, Center for Knowledge Diffusion

International Space Station as the Gateway for Humankind’s Future in Space and on Earth: Next Generation View

This session will highlight the active work of students and young professionals on the ISS. These next-generation researchers will discuss their experiences in translating their ground studies into spaceflight experiments, the benefits of microgravity research, and the overall impact of their research endeavors.

  • Dr. Julie A Robinson, ISS Chief Scientist, NASA (co-moderator)
  • Andrea Boyd, Flight Controller For ISS, European Astronaut Centre, European Space Agency (ESA) (co-moderator)
  • Jean–Dominique Coste, ESA Systems Engineer, Airbus Defence & Space, France/Germany
  • Jason Dunn, Founder, Made In Space
  • Dr. Norah Patten, International Space University
  • Jun Shimada, Payload Engineer, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
  • Julia Stalder, Mechanical Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Dr. Luis Zea, Aerospace Engineer, Bioserve Space Technologies—University Of Colorado, Boulder

Luncheon Keynote: Exponential Tech: Investments, Innovation, & Disruption on the Road Ahead With Peter Diamandis Featuring Brandon Farwell and Chris Lewicki

The mission of the International Space Station is to advance science and technology research, inspire the next generation of explorers, and serve as a platform for innovation to foster the commercial development of space. As Mr. Brandon Farwell of Rothenberg Ventures will illustrate, investments in disruptive frontier-technologies such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, and 3D printing, have sparked accelerated R&D and/or mass market adoption, and have found new applications on the ISS and beyond. The luncheon keynote speaker, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Founder and Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, will feature the disruptive power of exponentially growing technologies and how the commercial development of space is playing a role in the future of innovation. Finally, Mr. Chris Lewicki, President and CEO of Planetary Resources, invites us to explore asteroid mining as a catalyst to spark the space economy.

Technical Breakout Sessions

Six concurrent tracks - More Info

International Space Station Research to Advance Health on Earth

In an era of increasing human longevity, it is becoming ever more critical to prioritize not only improved treatment of disease but also approaches for maintaining wellness to preserve the quality of life for aging adults. Spaceflight- induced physiological changes represent deviations from this state of wellness, with some changes serving as accelerated models of Earth-based conditions, including musculoskeletal disease, immune dysfunction, and delayed wound healing. This session will highlight research onboard the ISS National Lab that seeks to exploit these spaceflight-induced physiological effects to improve human health on Earth through studies that advance the prevention, detection, and treatment of disease. In parallel, spaceflight research and development efforts also seek to improve the human condition by employing the space environment to advance diagnostic tools and drug discovery, development, and delivery systems.

  • Dr. Bess Dawson-Hughes, Senior Scientist and Director, Bone Metabolism Laboratory, Tufts University
  • Dr. Millie Hughes-Fulford, Scientific Advisor to the Under Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, San Francisco VA Health Care System
  • Rosamund Smith, Senior Research Director of Regenerative Biology, Eli Lilly and Company
  • Eugene D. Boland, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Techshot



Morning Kickoff

Welcome & Announcements

Genes in Space: A National STEM Competition Launching DNA Experiments to the ISS

The Genes in Space competition challenges students in 7-12th grades to design an experiment that can solve a space exploration problem through DNA analysis. This session will present the results from last year’s winning experiment that tested the polymerase chain reaction to study epigenetic changes aboard the ISS. Meet the 17-year-old high school student who led the first successful DNA amplification in space as well as the 2016 Genes in Space Finalists.

  • Scott Copeland, Sr. Manager For Research Integration, Specialty, And Systems Engineering, Boeing
  • Sebastian Kraves, Ph.D., Co-Founder, miniPCR
  • Anna-Sophia Boguraev, 2015 Genes In Space Winner

ISS & Beyond: Habs, Labs, and Platforms, from Low Earth Orbit to Deep Space

This session will consider and discuss the role played by the International Space Station as an exploration testbed and in creating markets that extend beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). The ISS is a critical technical testbed for deep-space exploration system and subsystem development and as a testbed for the development of business in space that might be sustained in LEO or beyond, once the ISS is gone. Panelists will consider international partnerships; the development of specialized equipment or facilities; customer expectations; and the development of human-operated, human-tended, autonomous or passive platforms in LEO or in Cislunar space.

  • Marybeth A. Edeen, ISS Research Integration Office Manager
  • Mark Mulqueen, Program Manager, International Space Station, Boeing
  • Sam Scimemi, Director of International Space Station, NASA
  • Robert Bigelow, President, Bigelow Aerospace
  • Michael Suffredini, President, Commercial Space Division, SGT


Low Earth Orbit Commercialization: Space-based R&D and Manufacturing

By the end of 2017, NASA plans to purchase both crew and cargo delivery services to the International Space Station from commercial suppliers. Near the planned end-of-life for ISS, NASA intends to transition low Earth orbit (LEO) operations from government-led to commercially-driven as a result of greater involvement from the private sector. CASIS has seen increasing demand for use of the ISS National Lab to support research and development in numerous fields. This session will highlight the R&D opportunities in low Earth orbit ranging from LEO commercialization efforts related to advancing protein crystal growth studies for drug discovery and delivery; stem cell, organs-on-chips, and vascularized tissue research for organ bioengineering; and use of 3D printing capabilities and superior optical fiber manufacturing for on-orbit production.

  • Adam Bluestein, Fast Co. Technology and Innovation Contributor
  • Dr. Joseph Ng, President, iXpressGenes Professor, University of Alabama-Huntsville
  • Dr. Danilo Tagle, Associate Director, Special Initiatives, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health
  • Andrew Rush, President and CEO, Made In Space

Breaking STEM Gender Barriers at 17,500 MPH: Women in STEM on the International Space Station

This session explores the barriers that women face when pursuing education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The featured panel represents three generations of women whose work has been centered on the International Space Station. They will share and discuss the experiences, inspirations, opportunities, and strategies that enabled them to break through gender barriers and discuss methods for addressing and eliminating them in the future.

  • Jennifer Lopez, Commercial Innovation Manager – Technology Development Lead, CASIS (moderator)
  • Dr. Millie Hughes-Fulford, Scientific Advisor to the Under Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, San Francisco VA Health Care System; ISS Principal Investigator, NCIRE; Mission Specialist, STS-40
  • Anna-Sophia Boguraev, 2015 Genes in Space Winner, Current ISS Researcher
  • Jan Hess, Teledyne Technologies Incorporated Segment President, Engineered Systems, Teledyne Brown Engineering

Luncheon Keynote with Astronaut Josh Cassada and International Space Station Awards

NASA Astronaut Josh Cassada will join the 2016 ISS R&D Conference for a special luncheon presentation. Cassada, a physicist by training, was selected in NASA’s 21st Astronaut class in 2013. He is currently in astronaut training for a future spaceflight mission. During his presentation, Cassada will give an inspirational overview of his journey to becoming an astronaut and highlight the current training that is preparing him to reach the International Space Station and beyond.

Plenary Close

Remarks, reminders and thanks

Technical Breakout Sessions

Six concurrent tracks - More Info

Special Viewing of A Beautiful Planet , an IMAX Entertainment Film

A breathtaking portrait of Earth from space, providing a unique perspective and increased understanding of our planet and galaxy as never seen before.

Praise from ISS R&D 2015 Attendees


ISSRDC Marketplace Exhibits

Small Group User Clinics

Connect and collaborate with veteran and prospective ISS users in these interactive brainstorming discussions focused on key space-research topics and challenges.

International Space Station 3D Display

Space Investment 2016

This unique opportunity brings together investors and early-stage companies interested in the fast-growing commercialization of space to discuss market opportunities and evaluate individual investment and syndications. Attendance is limited to 10 early-stage companies. Contact Benson Cheng at bcheng@iss-casis.org.

ISSRDC Marketplace Exhibits

Marketplace Exhibits

Make valuable connections in the marketplace exhibit area. CASIS and NASA have partnered with experienced companies that provide the specialized services you’ll need to get your science to the International Space Station, and many of these companies will have representatives on-hand to talk and answer your questions.

International Space Station 3D Display

International Space Station 3D Display

Explore the International Space Station like you’ve never seen it before. You’ll gain a new perspective on the space station with this hands-on exhibit that offers 360-degree internal and external views of the space station.

Ask an ISS Expert Exhibit

Ask an ISS Expert Exhibit

Have an innovative idea? Looking to learn more about hardware? Curious about the space station’s research capabilities? This new interactive exhibit connects you to a network of space experts, resources, information and key contacts.

Event Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor


Gold Sponsors

Siera Nevada Corporation

Silver Sponsors

FedExUnited Launch Alliance

Marketplace Sponsors

Airbus AlphaSpace bionetics Dittmar Associates Fish & Richardson HNu Photonics Kentucky Space and Space Tango Lockheed Martin Nanoracks Rothenberg Ventures Made In Space SpaceX Oceaneering Teledyne Brown Techshot Wyle Zin Technologies

Community Partner


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