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Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Master of Science in Biomolecular Sciences



Major Advisor

Julia Oxford, Ph.D.

Major Advisor

Gunes Uzer, Ph.D.


Denise Wingett, Ph.D.


Lisa Warner, Ph.D.


Matthew Ferguson, Ph.D.


The Final Frontier conjures dreams of exploring the great expanse of our solar system, but there is an inherent problem to this vision as space travel negatively impacts the musculoskeletal system. The focus of my research was to study the detrimental effects of radiation and microgravity, two components of space travel, on mesenchymal stem cells through the lens of the yes-associated protein (YAP). Chapter One, discusses our motivation and the goals of our experiments while Chapter Two provides extensive background on the cell type chosen, the known impacts of radiation and microgravity, our model compared with the actual conditions astronauts experience, and a discussion of YAP with its associated pathways. Chapter Three is the manuscript and supplemental, Chapter Four is the conclusion and finally Chapter Five which details some of the other work that I contributed to while at Boise State University.