Permanent Board Guides U.S. National Lab In Space

By  //  December 31, 2012

Group Will Oversee ISS Experiments

BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, a nonprofit group promoting and managing research on board the International Space Station’s U.S. National Laboratory, has inducted its first seven members to the organization’s permanent Board of Directors.

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space has inducted seven permanent members for its board of directors. to oversee and manage scientific research on board the International Space Station’s U.S. National Laboratory. (Image courtesy CASIS)

CASIS Board Members are divided into two categories in accordance with the organization’s bylaws –  “managing members” and “scientific members” –  to ensure a solid distribution of skills.

The following individuals have been inducted into the CASIS Board of Directors:

Scientific Members:

  • Bess Dawson-Hughes, M.D., Director, Bone Metabolism Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University
  • Andrei E. Ruckenstein, Ph.D., Vice President Research & Associate Provost, Boston University
  • Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Ph.D., Professor & Vice Chair, Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University

Managing Members:

  • France Córdova, Ph.D., President Emerita, Purdue University
  • Lewis Duncan, Ph.D., President, Rollins College
  • Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder & President, Institute for Systems Biology
  • Howard Zucker, M.D., J.D., Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University

Following the induction, CASIS’ three Interim Board Members formally stepped down, to enable the new Board to begin its governance responsibilities.

Currently, newly-inducted Board members are preparing for their first, in-person Board meeting, scheduled to take place Dec. 13 in Washington D.C. at The Florida House.

Starting in spring of 2012, the CASIS Interim Board engaged national executive search firm Korn Ferry to identify and vet qualified candidates from the U.S. science and university communities, in accordance with requirements of the organization’s bylaws, and agreements with Congress and NASA.

Candidates were selected by the following criteria:

  • A demonstrated career in a commercial, academic or scientific area
  • Experience in serving in high visibility positions and in leadership
  • Management of a university or technically centric corporation, or a non-profit organization tackling life quality challenges through applied science
  • Demonstrated performance as a board member fulfilling fiduciary duties.
CASIS is responsible for allocating laboratory space to paying customers and for raising funds and making grants for some research. (Image courtesy CASIS)

Additionally, CASIS Board Members selected for the Scientific Category were required to: (1) be nationally-recognized contributors in their fields – as an expert in either biology, chemistry, physics or materials sciences preferably and (2) understand the perspectives of both primary research and applied research.

CASIS is responsible for allocating laboratory space to paying customers, and for raising funds and making grants for some research.

An early task for the board will be to find a permanent replacement for James Royston, a former president of Astrotech who was interim executive director of the Florida-based organization. Royston took that role after the original Casis director, Jeanne Becker, resigned in a dispute over the actions of Congress, NASA headquarters and a private consulting firm in setting up the organization.

NASA selected CASIS to run the national lab on the ISS based on a proposal submitted by Space Florida, that state’s aerospace industrial development agency.

The three interim board members who have been overseeing CASIS operations resigned with the establishment of the formal board.

The new board comprises three scientific members selected for their knowledge of relevant disciplines and familiarity with basic research, and four more tapped for their management and fiduciary experience.