Dr. Kasthuri Venkateswaran

  • Ph.D. in Marine Microbiology (1982)
  • Doctorate in Agriculture (Food Microbiology & Hygiene; Hiroshima Univ.) (1990)

Research Interests: 
  • Microbiology
  • Extremophile
  • Molecular Microbiology

Professional Experience: 
  1. 32 years of research encompass marine, food and environmental microbiology. He has applied his research in molecular microbial analysis to better understand the ecological aspects of microbes, while conducting field studies in several extreme environments such as deep sea (2,500 m), spacecraft (Mars Odyssey, Genesis, MER, Mars Express) assembly facility clean rooms (various NASA and ESA facilities) as well as the space environment in Earth orbit (International Space Station).

Selected Awards: 
  • One NASA Peer Award, 2005
  • JPL Center – One NASA Peer Award, 2005
  • NASA Space Act Award, 2003 & 2008
  • Novel Technology Report Award (25), 2000 - present.

Selected Publications: 
  1. Venkateswaran, K., M. Satomi, S. Chung, R. Kern, R. Koukol, C. Basic, & D. White. Molecular microbial diversity of spacecraft assembly facility. Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 24:311-320, 2001.
  2. La Duc M. T., Nicholson W., Kern R., & K. Venkateswaran. 2003. Microbial Characterization of the Mars Odyssey Spacecraft and Its Encapsulation Facility. Environ Microbiol. 5:977-85.
  3. La Duc, M.T., M. Satomi, N. Agata, & K. Venkateswaran. 2004. gyrB as a phylogenetic discriminator for members of the Bacillus anthracis-cereus-thuringiensis group. J. Microbiol. Methods 52:367-77.
  4. La Duc, M.T., R. Kern, & K. Venkateswraan. 2004. Microbial Monitoring of Spacecraft and Associated Environments. Microb. Ecol. 47:150-158.
  5. Venkateswaran, K., Chung, S., Allton, J., & Kern, R. 2004. Evaluation of various cleaning methods to remove Bacillus spores from spacecraft hardware materials. Astrobiology. 4:377-390.
  6. Venkateswaran K., Hattori N., La Duc M.T., Kern R. 2003. ATP as a Biomarker of Viable Microorganisms in Clean-room Facilities. J Microbiol Methods 52:367-377.
  7. Dickinson, D. N., La Duc, M. T., Haskins, W. E., Gornushkin, I, Winefordner, J. D., Powell, D. H., & K. Venkateswaran. 2004. Species Differentiation of a Diverse Suite of Bacillus Spores Using Mass Spectrometry Based Protein Profiling. Appl Environ Microbiol. 70:475-482.
  8. Kempf, M. J., F. Chen, R. Kern, & K. Venkateswaran. 2005. Recurrent isolation of hydrogen peroxide-resistant spores of Bacillus pumilus from a spacecraft assembly facility. Astrobiology 5:391-405.
  9. Newcombe, D. A., A. C. Schuerger, J. N. Benardini, D. Dickinson, R. Tanner, & K. Venkateswaran. 2005. Survival of spacecraft-associated microorganisms under simulated martian UV irradiation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 71:8147-56.
  10. La Duc, M.T., Sumner, R., Pierson, D., P. Venkat, & K. Venkateswaran. 2004. Evidence of Pathogenic Microbes in the International Space Station Drinking Water: Reason for Concern? Habitation. 10:39-48.
  11. Behar, A., J. Matthews, K. Venkateswaran, J. Bruckner, & J. Jonsson. 2006. A deep sea hydrothermal vent bio-sampler for large volume in-situ filtration of hydrothermal vent fluids. Cahiers de Biologie Marine 47:443-447.
  12. Schuerger, A. C., J. T. Richards, D. A. Newcombe, & K. Venkateswaran. 2006. Rapid inactivation of seven Bacillus spp. under simulated Mars UV irradiation. Icarus 181:52-62.
  13. Bruckner, J. C. & K. Venkateswaran. 2007. Overview of methodologies to sample and assess microbial burden in low biomass environments. Jap. J. Food Microbiol 24:61-70.
  14. La Duc, M. T., J. T. Benardini, M. Lubarsky, M. J. Kempf, D. A. Newcombe, & K. Venkateswaran. 2007. Microbial characterization of an Indian Ocean hydrothermal vent plume. Astrobiology 7:416-431.
  15. La Duc, M. T., A. E. Dekas, S. Osman, C. Moissl, D. Newcombe, & K. Venkateswaran. 2007. Isolation and characterization of bacteria capable of tolerating the extreme conditions of clean-room environments. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 73:2600-2611.
  16. La Duc, M. T., T. Stuecker, & K. Venkateswaran. 2007. Molecular bacterial diversity and bioburden of commercial airliner cabin air. Can. J. Microbiol. 53:1259-71.
  17. Moissl, C., N. Hosoya, J. Bruckner, T. Stuecker, M. Roman, & K. Venkateswaran. 2007. Molecular microbial community structure of the regenerative enclosed life support module simulator (REMS) air system. Int. J. Astrobiol. 6:131-145.
  18. Moissl, C., M. T. La Duc, S. Osman, A. E. Dekas, & K. Venkateswaran. 2007. Molecular bacterial community analysis of clean rooms where spacecraft are assembled. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 61:509-521.
  19. Moissl, C., J. Bruckner, & K. Venkateswaran. 2008. Archaeal community analysis of spacecraft assembly facilities. The ISME Journal 2:115-119.
  20. Osman, S., Z. Peeters, M. T. LaDuc, R. Mancinelli, P. Ehrenfreund, & K. Venkateswaran. 2008. Effect of shadowing on the survival of bacteria to conditions simulating Martian atmosphere and UV-radiation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74:959–970.
  21. Osman, S., M.T. La Duc, A. Dekas, D. Newcombe, & K. Venkateswaran. 2008. Microbial bioburden and diversity of commercial airline cabin air during short- and long-duration of travel. The ISME Journal 2:482–497.
  22. Newcombe, D., M.T. La Duc, P. Vaishampayan, & K. Venkateswaran. 2008. Airborne bacterial diversity associated with the assembly, testing, and launch operations of the Mars Exploration Rovers. Int. J. Astrobiol. 7:223-236.
Dr. Kasthuri Venkateswaran
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Phone: 818.393.1481
Fax Number: 818.393.4176