Status Report

NASA Announcement of IPA Opportunity – Systems Biology/Personalized Health Project Scientist

By SpaceRef Editor
September 8, 2020
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Announcement of IPA Opportunity – Systems Biology/Personalized Health Project Scientist

Systems Biology/Personalized Health Project Scientist (IPA)

Human Research Program

Human Health and Performance Directorate

NASA Johnson Space Center

Houston, Texas


To apply:


Submit your CV and a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications via email to:

Please use the subject line “HRP Project Scientist IPA”.

All applications must be submitted by COB September 30, 2020


Term: 2 years, potentially renewable


Start Date: Fall 2020


The NASA Human Research Program (HRP) seeks a full-time scientist with expertise in Systems Biology and Personalized Health to serve under an Intergovernmental Personnel Agreement (IPA), as the Project Scientist. The Project Scientist defines a research strategy that defines the technical direction of each project and an approach to securing the appropriate research.  The Project Scientist does not perform the research, but provides the technical vision for the project, working closely with a Project Manager to implement that vision.  The position requires significant interaction with personnel resident in Houston, Texas, but may be performed remotely.


The Systems Biology Project utilizes bioinformatics and computational modeling to study data generated from previous and future investigations to evaluate changes in biological systems at a multi-level (e.g. cell, tissue, organism), multisystem (e.g. cardiovascular, renal, neural, immune), and multispecies perspective to better understand generalizable complex interactions among system responses to environmental stressors (CO2, radiation, G-level, microbiome, etc.).


The Personalized Health Project establishes the use of deep phenotyping approaches across species to observe changes at the molecular level, link those changes to identified biological response(s) to spaceflight hazards, and identify common biochemical pathways and biomarkers that can be isolated, quantified and used to surveil for actionable changes in health and performance status. The results will inform best prevention and mitigation strategies based on individual responses.


Major Duties:


  • Define the scientific requirements and content required to meet the objective(s) and success criteria of the Projects. Determine the scope and strategy for a systems biology approach across, omics, organs, systems, and species as applied to human research.  Determine the scope and strategy for a personalized health approach to surveil and mitigate deleterious human responses to spaceflight.
  • Work closely with the Project Manager to evaluate and develop implementation plans that provide the best scientific outcomes within constraints.  Coordinate with project manager to determine approach to acquiring the required research, and lead the development of acquisition/solicitation direction/review for the research content.
  • Review research results and develop an approach to translate and apply results or infuse knowledge gained from fundamental studies to applied research studies or operational surveillance. 
  • Advise Chief Scientist as a subject matter expert in application of personalized health surveillance methods to protect astronaut in-mission and long-term health.
  • Partner with the NASA’s Lifetime Study of Astronaut Health (LSAH), Life Sciences Data Archive (LSDA), and Genelab to review existing health surveillance, research measures for former astronauts, research measures or genomic data  for various model organisms exposed to spaceflight, and recommend updates as appropriate to support NASA’s Moon to Mars goals.
  • Partner with the Crew Health Safety Program to identify high value surveillance measures and ensure appropriate hand off between research and surveillance activities;
  • Coordinate with the Project Manager to ensure the project stays within the budget and schedule.




  • Required:
    • Ph.D. from an accredited school
    • Expertise in defining omics (e.g. genomics, proteomics, etc.) requirements for human subjects
    • Expertise in Systems Biology
    • Experience in utilizing new technologies and synthesizing data from multiple sources to enable the development of personalized medical protocols


  • Strongly Desired
    • Knowledge and/or experience with computational modeling
    • Knowledge  and/or experience with biomarkers and targets for genetic analysis in human research
    • Knowledge and/or experience in integrating data from multiple technical disciplines (e.g. computational modeling, cell biology, and genomics) in a human research environment 
    • Familiarity with best practices in government agencies that perform research with human subjects



SpaceRef staff editor.