Our Team

SpaceOMIX is proud to form part of the very first Maltese mission to the International Space Station as part of Project Maleth. It's a combined biomedical and genetic experiment in space that will set the stage for future Malta missions to ISS and beyond.

Inner view of a futuristic vehicle

Prof. Joseph Borg

Joseph initially undertook the studies of applied biomedical science in the former Institute of Health Care, now Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malta, and subsequently followed specialised training in Molecular Genetics and Haematology.

Joseph's current research interests as an academic with the Department of Applied Biomedical Science continue to focus on the molecular genetics of developmental globin gene switching and control. Together with his Borg Group he conducts extensive research on KLF1 erythroid-specific transcription factor, utilising both genomic (DNA-based) and transcriptomic (RNA-based) approaches in in-vitro (cell cultures) and in-vivo (clinical patients) models.

He is now also a member of the Analysis Working Group at the Nasa Gene Lab, USA run by Afshin Beheshti and the ESA Space Omics Topical Team, studying amongst others the effects of spaceflight on erythropoiesis for both astronauts living onboard the ISS and other missions and a range of mouse model organisms sent to space and back. This work is also done in collaboration with Christopher Mason at the Institute for Computational Biomedicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, USA.

Our Vision

The Space Omix Group - (SOG) - envisages a future whereby life on Earth improves. This encompasses all forms of life as we know it, ranging from the microscopic to humans.

There is no better way to study life and its interactions with the environment than the ones we don’t fully understand yet. Space. Having conducted multiple earthly projects, SOG will now embark on a number of ambitious projects ranging from the International Space Station to Moon and Mars. All discoveries made will be applied in a two-way opposing manner.
 

I - applied back to Earth for medical and health research

 

II - applied in space to enable safer and deeper space missions to the great beyond

Nasa Genelab Research

NASA GeneLab: Open science, space-related omics database in which users can upload, download, share, store, and analyze spaceflight data. The team is working on jointly with colleagues Afshin Beheshti the Principal Investigator at the NASA Ames Research Centre and Christopher Mason include the study and effects of space on human blood and control of haemoglobin expression. Another project is the study of skin microbiomes of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus patients. Skin wounds and ulcers in diabetic patients of Malta present a very challenging and significant medical problem with 10 new cases each week that require attention and medical care.

Project Maleth

Malta's First Biomedical Science Experiment in Space. The Government of Malta announced the first scientific programme to be sent to the International Space Station and this will usher Maltese science into a new era of space science and space diplomacy. Access to the space environment, microgravity, and high radiation create a unique opportunity to study various experimental biology experiments and fundamental biomedical science questions that in turn can have implications to real-world clinical problems.

Joseph Borg

Biomedical Scientist
B.Sc.(Hons)(Melit.),M.Sc.(Melit.),Ph.D.(Melit.)

Mark Briffa

Biomedical Scientist at Mater Dei Hospital

Christine Gatt

Biomedical Scientist at Mater Dei Hospital

JP Stivala

Citizen Scientist Content Manager at SpaceOMIX

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Malta is sending its very first space bioscience experiment entitled SpaceOMIX as a first mission under the Maleth Program. The mission is contracted by NASA and will be flown by SpaceX using the Cargo Dragon C208.

Contact

Borg Group

Biomedical Sciences Building, 3rd Floor
Lab 344 University of Malta, M'sida,  MSD 2080

spaceomix@gmail.com

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