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Cornell Aerospace Medicine Biobank


  • The Cornell Aerospace Medicine Biobank (CAMbank) is a cutting-edge repository dedicated to the preservation of specimens obtained during spaceflight experiments. These invaluable samples are meticulously cataloged for molecular profiling and sequencing, offering a treasure trove of data for the next frontier of aerospace medical research.

  • CAMbank follows ISBER biobanking guidelines, ensuring the integrity and reliability of every specimen under our care.

    OpenSpecimen Web Portal will launch soon, offering researchers and scientists seamless access to our collection. Please contact us for more information.

Sample list
Preflight samples
Inflight samples
Postflight samples
Total samples

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The CAMbank Team

Get to know the CAMbank Team, the backbone of our operations dedicated to advancing aerospace medical research. From planning and collecting specimens to processing, quality control, and cataloging, our team works tirelessly to manage and preserve invaluable samples from spaceflight experiments.

  • Team Member

    Dr. Christopher Mason

    Founder and Executive Director

  • Team Member

    Dr. Eliah Overbey

    Founder and Deputy Director

  • Team Member

    Jeremy Wain Hirschberg

    Founder and Director of Operations

  • Team Member

    Dr. Cem Meydan

    Data Integration Specialist

  • Team Member

    Dr. JangKeun Kim

    Collections Specialist

  • Sample List

    Currently available specimens from the SpaceX Inspiration4 Mission

Sample Type Total L-92 L-44 L-3 R+1 R+45 R+82 R+194 R+668
CPT Plasma 194 50 32 7 8 35 46 16 0
cfDNA BCT Plasma 73 7 15 5 16 17 3 10 0
SST Serum 103 17 14 17 9 26 12 8 0
Vacutainer RBC Pellet 425 0 109 77 116 48 56 0 19
PAXgene RNA 507 65 58 71 67 101 61 84 0
Saliva DNA 229 8 35 28 55 61 42 0 0
Saliva RNA 327 37 30 64 84 59 53 0 0
CPT PBMCs 218 0 44 38 44 24 44 12 12
Crude Urine 533 97 79 79 73 95 110 0 0
Conditioning Buffer Urine 424 30 28 80 77 100 109 0 0
Streck Urine 250 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 250
K2EDTA Plasma 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 30
Stool DNA 167 49 54 0 0 33 31 0 0
Stool RNA 105 20 32 0 0 29 24 0 0
Oral/Nasal/Skin Swab DNA 280 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 0
Oral/Nasal/Skin Swab RNA 280 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 0

OpenSpecimen Web Portal - Coming Soon

CAMBank Methodology

Here, we provide detailed insights into our standardized methodologies for sample collection, processing, and storage. These methodologies are meticulously designed and rigorously implemented to ensure the integrity, quality, and usability of the bio specimens housed within CAMbank.

Sample Collection

  • CAMbank employs stringent protocols for the collection of bio specimens from astronauts during various space missions. Our sample collection protocol adheres to the highest standards of biosafety, minimizing contamination and preserving the molecular integrity of the collected samples. Key components of our sample collection protocol include:

    • Pre-Mission Collection
      : Astronauts undergo pre-mission sample collection sessions to establish baseline data before spaceflight, enabling comparative analyses with samples collected during and after missions.

    • In-Flight Collection: When possible during space missions, bio specimens such as blood, urine, saliva, and tissue samples are collected using specialized equipment and procedures optimized for microgravity environments.

    • Post-Flight Collection: Upon return to Earth, astronauts provide additional bio specimens to capture any physiological changes or effects resulting from spaceflight or return to gravity. Post-flight samples are collected at at several time points to longitudinally assess the effects of spaceflight and return to gravity.

    • For more detailed information on our sample collection protocol, please refer to our Sample Collections Manuscript

    Sample Processing

  • Ensuring the quality and usability of bio specimens requires meticulous processing procedures. CAMbank's sample processing protocol encompasses a series of standardized steps aimed at preparing samples for long-term storage and downstream analysis. Key aspects of our sample processing protocol include:

    • Initial Processing
      : Upon receipt of samples, they undergo initial processing steps such as centrifugation, aliquoting, and labeling to facilitate downstream analyses and storage.

    • Quality Control Checks: Samples undergo rigorous quality control checks to assess their integrity, concentration, and purity, ensuring that only high-quality samples are included in CAMbank's repository.

    • Data Documentation: Detailed documentation of sample processing steps, including timestamps, personnel involved, and any deviations from standard protocols, is maintained to ensure traceability and reproducibility.

    • For more detailed information on our sample processing protocol, please refer to our Sample Processing Protocol Documents: CPT tubes - SST tubes - BCT Tubes

    Sample Storage

  • Proper storage is paramount to maintaining the stability and viability of bio specimens over time. CAMbank employs state-of-the-art storage facilities and protocols to ensure the long-term preservation of samples, as well as an OpenSpecimen Portal for sample tracking. Key features of our sample storage protocol include:

    • Optimized Storage Conditions
      : Samples are stored under carefully controlled conditions, including temperature, humidity, and light exposure, to minimize degradation and maintain sample integrity.

    • Barcoding and Inventory Managemen: Each sample is assigned a unique barcode and tracked within an OpenSpecimen portal, allowing for easy retrieval and monitoring of sample usage.

    • Monitoring and Redundancy: To mitigate the risk of sample loss, CAMbank implements monitoring systems and redundancy measures to safeguard against unforeseen events.

    • Link to OpenSpecimen Portal coming soon!

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    CAMBank Governance

    At the Cornell Aerospace Biobank (CAMbank), we are committed to upholding the highest standards of ethics, integrity, and transparency in all our operations. Central to this commitment is the establishment of the CAMbank Access Review Board (CARB).

    • The CAMbank Access Review Board (CARB) serves as the cornerstone of our governance structure. Comprised of experts in various relevant fields including space medicine, bioethics, and molecular biology, CARB is tasked with the critical responsibility of evaluating research proposals submitted for the utilization of bio specimens stored within CAMbank. CARB operates with the primary objective of ensuring that the distribution of bio specimens from CAMbank aligns with our mission to advance scientific knowledge while upholding ethical standards and protecting the interests of our astronaut donors.

    • Responsibilities of CARB

    • Reviewing Research Proposals: CARB meticulously evaluates each research proposal submitted to CAMbank to assess its scientific merit, feasibility, and ethical implications.

    • Ethical Considerations: CARB assesses whether proposed research projects adhere to ethical guidelines and regulations governing the use of human biological samples, particularly those collected from astronauts.

    • Protecting Astronauts' Interests: CARB ensures that research projects approved for specimen distribution are in the best interests of the astronauts who generously contributed to CAMbank.

    • Promoting Scientific Rigor: CARB promotes scientific rigor by scrutinizing proposed methodologies, data analysis plans, and the potential impact of the research on advancing knowledge in relevant fields.

    • Transparency and Accountability: CARB operates with transparency and accountability, providing clear justifications for its decisions and maintaining open communication with researchers and stakeholders.

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    Biobanking Standards

    At CAMbank, we adhere to the highest standards of bio banking practices to ensure the integrity, quality, and usability of the bio specimens entrusted to us. Our commitment to excellence is reflected in our compliance with the recommendations set forth by the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER). ISBER is a global organization that promotes best practices in the management of biological and environmental specimens for research. Through its guidelines, ISBER provides a framework for biobanks to operate ethically, transparently, and efficiently, fostering trust among stakeholders and facilitating scientific advancement conducted in an ethical manner.

    • Alignment with ISBER Guidelines

      CAMbank is dedicated to aligning its operations with the principles and recommendations outlined by ISBER. Key areas of alignment include:

      • Ethical Oversight: AMbank upholds ethical standards in the collection, storage, and distribution of bio specimens, ensuring that donor rights, privacy, and confidentiality are respected at all times. We adhere to informed consent procedures and ethical review processes to protect the interests of donors and promote transparency in research.

      • Ethical Considerations: CARB assesses whether proposed research projects adhere to ethical guidelines and regulations governing the use of human biological samples, particularly those collected from astronauts.

      • Quality Management: CAMbank implements robust quality management systems to maintain the integrity and reliability of stored specimens. Our facilities adhere to stringent environmental controls, monitoring protocols, and documentation practices to minimize variability and ensure sample stability over time.

      • Data Management: CAMbank employs secure data management systems to track and catalog bio specimens, ensuring accurate record-keeping and traceability throughout the sample lifecycle. We prioritize data security, confidentiality, and integrity to safeguard sensitive information and facilitate data sharing for research purposes.

      • Sample Collection and Processing: CAMbank follows standardized protocols for the collection, processing, and storage of bio specimens, as recommended by ISBER. Our procedures are designed to minimize pre-analytical variability, preserve sample integrity, and facilitate downstream analyses while adhering to biosafety guidelines and best practices.

      • Training and Education: CAMbank invests in training and education programs to ensure that staff members are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their roles effectively and in accordance with ISBER guidelines. Continuous learning and professional development are integral to maintaining high standards of bio banking practice.

      Commitment to Continuous Improvement

      CAMbank is committed to continuous improvement and strives to stay updated with the latest developments and advancements in bio banking standards. We actively participate in ISBER working groups, conferences, and initiatives to contribute to the evolution of best practices and promote innovation in the field of bio banking. By adhering to ethical principles, implementing robust quality management systems, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement, CAMbank aims to facilitate scientific research and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in space medicine and beyond.

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    Partnerships and Collaborations

    We would like to thank the following industry partners for their technical support, logistical help, and collaboration across the missions

    • Alamar Biosciences
    • Element Biosciences
    • Illumina
    • Isohelix
    • Matterbio
    • Nanostring
    • Pacbio
    • Qiagen
    • 10x Genomics
    • Ultima Genomics
    • Zymo Research