Fathi Karouia

Fathi Karouia


2013 – present University of California San Francisco Professional Researcher at the School of Pharmacy

2013 – present NASA Ames Research Center Senior Research Scientist at the Flight Systems Implementation Branch

2011 – 2013 University of California San Francisco Assistant Professional Researcher at the School of Pharmacy

2011 – Present NASA Ames Research Center Research Scientist at the Exobiology Branch

2009 – 2011 NASA Ames Research Center Postdoctoral Fellow at the Exobiology Branch

2008 – 2009 University of Houston Postdoctoral Fellow at the Biology and Biochemistry Department

2001 – 2008 University of Houston Research Assistant at the Biology and Biochemistry Department

2000 – 2003 NASA Johnson Space Center Research Associate at the Space and Life Sciences Directorate

1999 – 1999 Center National d’Etudes Spatiales (French Space Agency) Research Associate at the Strategy, Quality and Evaluation Directorate.

1995 – 1996 Henri Poincare University Research Assistant at the Solid States Physics department.


Ph.D. Molecular and Cellular Biology, the University of Houston.

M.S. in Space Studies, the International Space University.

M.S. in Space Technologies, Louis Pasteur University.

Prepa- Aggregation in Physical Sciences, Henri Poincare University.

M.S. in Physics, Henri Poincare University.

B.S in Physics and Chemistry, Henri Poincare University.

Research Interests:

My current research focuses on basic and applied research in Astrobiology, Space Biology, and in Human Spaceflight and Exploration. More specifically, I am performing studies in relation to the Planetary Protection program and genetic inventory of clean rooms in particular. Additionally, I am investigating the effects of Space Environment on biological systems in general and microorganisms in particular with colleagues at the University of Houston. Finally, in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, we have been actively working on better understanding the impact of ionizing radiation of the gut microbiome and the development of Radiation countermeasures for Human Spaceflight. More recently as a project manager and scientist, I have been involved in defining the scientific requirements, developing, and implementing space biology experiments that have been selected by the Space Life and Physical Sciences program at NASA.

Select Publications:

Long-term exposure of bacterial cells to simulated microgravity, Karouia F, Tirumalai MR, Nelman-Gonzalez MA, Sams CF, Ott MC, Pierson DL, Willson RC, Fofanov Y, and Fox GE. Proc. SPIE Vol 8521, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XV, 85210K 1-6, 2012.

Comprehensive Toxicology, Jones, J. A., Casey, R. C., and Karouia, F. Chapter 11: Ionizing Radiation as a Carcinogen, 2nd Edition, Elsevier, ISBN-13: 978-0-08-046868-6, 2010.

The Effects of Simulated Microgravity on Microbial gene Expression. Fox GE, Willson RC, Pierson DL, Tirumalai MT, and Karouia F. ISSO Y2007, pp58-60, 2008.

Martian Soil Biosensors Based on Dielectric Spectroscopy. John H. Miller, Jie Fang, David Warnflash, David S. McKay, Jeffrey A. Jones, and Fathi Karouia. ISSO Y2007, pp61-66, 2008.

Principles of Clinical Medicine for Space Flight, Jones, J. A., and Karouia, F. Chapter 25: Radiation Disorder, Edited by M. Barratt and S. Pool, ISBN: 9780387988429, 2008.

Paradoxical DNA Repair and Peroxide Resistance Gene Conservation in Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032. Jason Gioia Madhan R Tirumalai, Shailaja Yerrapragada, Madhan R Tirumalai, Indrani Dasgupta, Lina Bokhetache, Yamei Liu, Prahathees E. Moorthy, Brian Davis McWilliams, Adeola A Olowu, Johnathan Siefert, Fathi Karouia, Kenneth D. Clinkenbeard, Avani Verma, Prince Buzumbo, Hiba Zwiya, Okezie Igboeli, Akif Uzman, Xiang Qin, Huaiyang Jiang, Sarah Highlander, Kasthuri Venkateswaran, George E Fox, George Weinstock. PLoS ONE. 2007 Sep 26;2(9):e928.

PR or Perish? Promotion and Outreach Opportunities in Mars Analogue Research, Jennifer H. Laing, Reyna Jenkyns, and Fathi Karouia, Mars Analog Research, Vol. 111, Science and Technology Series, American Astronautical Society, 2006, pp39-52, ISBN -87703-529-6.

Effect of an artificial RNA marker on gene expression in Escherichia coli, Tucker DL, Karouia F, Wang J, Luo Y, Li TB, Willson RC, Fofanov Y, Fox GE: Applied Environmental Microbiology, 2005 July, 71(7):4156-9.

NASA Missions:

Microbial Observatory-1; Micro-7; -8; -9; and -10

Awards and Other:

National Science Foundation/American Astronomical Society
2011, 2012, and 2013 Awards

International Council of Science/COSPAR Astrobiology
2012 Award

International Council of Science/COSPAR Planetary Protection
2012 Award

NASA Astrobiology Institute
2011 Award

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
2009 NASA Postdoctoral Program Award

The National Academies
2009 National Research Council Research Associateship Award

Institute for Space Systems Operations
2008 Postdoctoral Fellowship

European Space Agency
2008 Astronaut Candidate

NASA Astrobiology Institute
2008 Fellowship

Texas Public Educational Grant
2007 – 2008 Award

The American Association for the Advancement of Science
2007 Science Magazine Program for Excellence in Science Award