John L. Freeman, Ph.D.
Dr. John L. Freeman is currently a Plant Scientist and Science Test Lead at Intrinsyx Technologies Corporation at NASA-Ames in the Space Biosciences Botany Laboratory. He is primarily working on the Seedling Growth flight experiments investigating how gravity and light influence plant growth in space and the cellular signaling mechanisms involved in plant tropisms. These experiments utilize the European Modular Cultivation System in conjunction with Experiment Unique Equipment flight hardware developed by NASA Ames Research Center and these tests will be performed on the International Space Station and on the ground at NASA-Ames. Four seedling growth space flight experiments are scheduled over the next few years supported by NASA in cooperation with the European Space Agency.
Dr. Freeman received a Ph.D. from the Purdue University Horticulture Department in Plant Biochemistry with a focus on the unique molecular biology of metal hyperaccumulator plants. His research focus in plant metal stress tolerance, phytoremediation and plant environmental stress physiology has utilized a wide variety of molecular techniques including X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy using the two Synchrotrons at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Stanford University.
Wagner A. Vendrame, Ph.D.
Dr. Vendrame is a Full Professor at the Environmental Horticulture Department, of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), University of Florida, working at the Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC), in Homestead, Florida. Dr. Vendrame has a 30% teaching and 70% research appointment in the areas of ornamental horticulture and biotechnology. His research program has focused in production and conservation of ornamental plants using tissue culture, molecular biology, and cryopreservation techniques. More recently Dr. Vendrame expanded his research program to include studies on plants with potential for medicinal use and/or biofuel production. Studies are under way to assess Jatropha curcas as a potential alternative energy crop for South Florida. In 2007 Dr. Vendrame partnered with Zero Gravity, Inc., BioServe, and Spacehab, Inc. to develop a project to evaluate the growth of undifferentiated plant cells under microgravity. An experiment with cell suspensions was sent on board of space shuttle Endeavour in August 2007, remaining for three months at the International Space Station, and returning in November 2007 on board of the Discovery. read more
Additional experiments with jatropha were performed in partnership with Vecenergy, with four flights between 2010 and 2011. Dr. Vendrame obtained his B.S. in Agricultural Sciences and M.Sc. in Plant Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of São Paulo, Brazil, and his Ph.D. in Horticulture from the University of Georgia.