The 2011 International Space Development Conference brought thousands of visitors to the Rocket City last month. It also led dozens of bright, international students to HudsonAlpha, where they toured state-of-the-art labs.

Forty-two ISDC guests participated in the HudsonAlpha visit. Most were students from Romania and Ireland who had won the annual NASA Ames Space Settlement Design competition. This year more than 350 entries were submitted by 1,079 students hailing from 114 countries, including the U.S.

During their May 20 visit to HudsonAlpha, students learned about the organization’s three-fold mission of genomic research, educational outreach and economic development. Additionally, faculty investigator Shawn Levy, Ph.D., explained his work with the International Space Station’s wastewater sources and Jian Han, M.D., Ph.D., demonstrated the iCubate system.

Chris Gunter, HudsonAlpha’s director of research affairs, also played a role in the ISDC. On Thursday, May 19, Gunter was a conference presenter, focusing on biotechnology and space.

The theme of the 2011 conference was From the Ground Up! Next year’s event will be held in Washington D.C.

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