Catharine Anastasia Conley became NASA's Planetary Protection Officer in 2006.


Conley received her bachelor's from MIT, a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from Cornell University in 1994, and obtained a postdoctoral fellow position at The Scripps Research Institute studying proteins involved in muscle contraction.[1][2] Conley conducts some of her research using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.[3][4]

NASA careerEdit

In 1999 Conley became a research scientist with the NASA Ames Research Center. Her research focuses on the evolution of motility, particularly animal muscle. One of her experiments was on board during the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. The experiment, the fourteenth Biological Research In Canisters (BRIC-14), survived re-entry and the nematode cultures were still alive. Some scientific data was recovered.[5]

In 2006, Conley was appointed as NASA's Planetary Protection Officer (see Planetary protection).[6][7][8][9][10][11]


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