NASA HEOMD TRISH awards three postdoctoral fellowships to further space health research

NASA HEOMD TRISH awards three postdoctoral fellowships to further space health research

Situation report from: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday July 7th 2022

HOUSTON, Texas (July 7, 2022) – The Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine with consortium partners California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced today new cohort of postdoctoral fellowships supported by the TRISH Academy of Bioastronautics. The program provides funding for two years and the virtual academy provides a forum for career growth.

“Cultivating the next generation of space health researchers is one of our strategic goals,” said Dr. Dorit Donoviel, Executive Director of TRISH. “We aim to prepare a diverse workforce from a variety of scientific backgrounds to help us solve the challenges space explorers face on future missions to the Moon and beyond. We are delighted to welcome this next group of postdocs, as they help us to get closer to this goal. »

These fellows join a cohort of more than 20 previously supported TRISH postdoctoral fellows. In addition to research funding, fellows receive mentorship from experienced faculty mentors, connections to spaceflight experts, and the opportunity to expand their network and project reach.

“My career was launched with a fellowship from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), TRISH’s predecessor, so I greatly appreciate the value of mentorship and community for those new to space biomedical research” , said Dr. Jeffrey Willey, associate professor of radiation oncology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Dr. Willey mentors TRISH fellows in human health challenges for deep space exploration.

This year’s postdoctoral fellows are:

Xu Cao, Ph.D.

Identification of genetic factors in radiation lesions with pooled single cell sequencing.

Mentor: Joseph C. Wu, MD, Ph.D., Stanford University

Astronauts’ hearts can be damaged by inflammation and fibrosis (scar formation) of the heart induced by high-energy space radiation. This study aims to find out how and what hereditary/genetic factors can affect people’s susceptibility to space radiation, in order to better predict the risk of heart disease in astronauts and to design personalized drugs.

Ashley Nemec-Bakk, Ph.D.
The use of two new terrestrial models of deep space travel to study the role of mitochondria and oxidative stress in cardiovascular effects.

Mentor: Marjan Boerma, Ph.D., University of Arkansas, Little Rock

Using two new terrestrial models of deep space travel, Dr. Nemec-Bakk will study the effects of radiation and microgravity on the shape and function of the heart, major arteries and vasculature of the eye in male and female mice.

David Temple, Ph.D.

Systematic evaluation of noisy galvanic vestibular stimulation as a sensorimotor countermeasure.

Mentor: Torin K. Clark, Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder

This study explores whether noisy galvanic vestibular stimulation (nGVS), where small amounts of electrical noise are delivered to the inner ear, can serve as a countermeasure to alleviate the sensorimotor disturbances experienced by astronauts during gravity transitions via a phenomenon known as stochastic resonance.

The Translational Research Institute for Space Health is supported by NASA’s Human Research Program, with a mission, in part, to support the upcoming Artemis missions, which aim to put the first woman and the first person of color on the moon. The institute funds innovative and disruptive research that can improve and protect the health and safety of humans, wherever they explore.

About TRISH

Led by the Center for Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, TRISH is a consortium that includes partners Caltech and MIT. NASA recently granted the institute a six-year extension to continue its work in providing disruptive solutions to mitigate biomedical risks for human exploration while advancing Earth health technologies. Learn more about TRISH at bcm.edu/spacehealth and follow the Institute on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@BCMSpaceHealth).

Media Contacts

Rachael Dempsey, [email protected]educated

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