Press Release

Eighteen students launch into space research internship

By SpaceRef Editor
August 4, 2009
Filed under , ,
Eighteen students launch into space research internship

Eighteen students are spending the summer at NASA, working alongside space life scientists and space medicine researchers as part of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute’s Summer Internship Program.

As the International Space Station nears completion, these young scientists are getting a taste of health and medical research related to living in space for long periods and to sending humans back to the moon. The 10-to-15 week program provides the opportunity for undergraduate, graduate and medical students to join ongoing research activities at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston or NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

NSBRI Summer Intern Class of 2009

NASA Glenn Research Center
– Brian George, University of Akron
– Sarah Over, Virginia Tech University
– Christina Sulkowski, University of Akron

NASA Johnson Space Center
– Brandon Coats, Purdue University
– Jessica Cooperstone, Cornell University
– Pushan Dasgupta, Harvard University
– Cheryl Goetz, Michigan State University
– Jessie Jeevarajan, Saint Louis University
– Setsuko Kamotani, Ohio State University
– Joleen Kayanickupuram, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
– Rina Parmeshwar, University of California, Berkeley
– Samara Poplack, Baylor College of Medicine
– Odrick Rosas, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus
– Brett Rosenthal, Duke University
– Heather Scruggs, Texas A&M University
– Sophia Traven, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
– Krishna Upadhyaya, University of Rochester
– Abigail Young, Saint Louis University

“The internship program gives these high-caliber students the opportunity to work on research related to human space exploration. Along the way, they gain first-hand knowledge of the numerous Earth applications of their work,” said Dr. Jeffrey Sutton, NSBRI director.

Since its inception in 1998, 117 students have participated in the highly competitive program. Two hundred students applied in 2009.

NSBRI interns work on research activities under the supervision of NASA scientists and physicians who serve as mentors. Projects include topics such as increasing the ability to detect dangerous heart conditions, assessing balance and orientation disturbances, understanding the role microgravity and space radiation have on the reactivation of certain viruses, and determining what items must be included in spacecraft medical kits.

NSBRI, funded by NASA, is a consortium of institutions studying the health risks related to long-duration spaceflight. The Institute’s science, technology and education projects take place at more than 60 institutions across the United States.

NSBRI projects address space health concerns such as bone and muscle loss, cardiovascular changes, balance and orientation problems, neurobehavioral and psychosocial factors, radiation exposure, remote medical care and research capabilities, and neurobehavioral and psychosocial factors, and habitability and performance issues such as sleep cycles and lunar dust exposure. Research findings will also impact the understanding and treatment of similar medical conditions experienced on Earth.

SpaceRef staff editor.