Publication Date

Fall 2021

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science in Bioinformatics (MSBI)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Wendy Lee


Microgravity, Endothelial cells, mRNA-sequencing (RNA-seq), Transcription profiling i.


Endothelial cells (ECs) line the insides of blood vessels and play a key role in the coagulation and vascular repair system. Under normal circumstances, ECs are constantly expressing anticoagulants to prevent clots and maintain healthy blood flow. But when there is an injury to the vessel, endothelial cells become centrally involved in orchestrating the complex series of events that would lead to the clotting of the wound. Thus, ECs are dynamic and respond accordingly based on changes in their local environment. Unfortunately, endothelial cells can sometimes misinterpret cues from the environment and initiate coagulation when there is no vessel damage to repair, causing unwanted clots. This phenomenon was recently observed among astronauts who have spent prolonged time in a weightless environment. More research is needed to better understand how endothelial cells respond to microgravity conditions. This paper focuses on building an mRNA-sequencing pipeline for analyzing the gene expression of endothelial cells.