Professor Joseph Borg

Prof. Borg initially undertook the studies of applied biomedical science in the former Institute of Health Care, now Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malta and subsequently followed specialised training in Molecular Genetics and Haematology. Subsequent work carried out during his PhD years unveiled the molecular genetics of a very rare blood disorder entitled ‘Hereditary persistence of foetal haemoglobin’. He discovered a novel DNA mutation in the human KLF1 gene and established this gene as a novel quantitative trait locus for high levels of foetal haemoglobin in adults. He conducted visiting post-doctoral work at the Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands and established his own research team at the University of Malta. Prof. Borg sits on the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and Organization councils and also forms part of an Analysis Working Group at the NASA Gene Lab Multiomics section. He is a member of the European Space Agency Space Omics Topical Team, a research core team member of Twin Orbit study, and participates on medical, genetic and health parameter testing of private human astronauts launched by SpaceX. He collaborated with Afshin Beheshti from NASA Ames Research Centre and Chris Mason from Weill Cornell Medicine to launch Malta’s first space bioscience program – Maleth. He led two successful mission experiments to the International Space Station thus far with a third in line for a January 2023 launch. He co-founded Spaceomix jointly with Arkafort Ltd. to lead the next efforts beyond low-earth orbit and take further space bioscience research to a more applied level. To date he has published more than 120 publications, and on some highly impactful journals such as Nature Genetics, Cell Reports Methods and iScience.