Status Report

NASA HEOMD: Translational Research Institute for Space Health Selects Fellows to Study Human Health for Deep Space Missions

By SpaceRef Editor
June 30, 2020
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The Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine has awarded postdoctoral fellowships to five outstanding early career scientists working in life sciences that translate to space applications.


Each awardee will undertake a two-year project that addresses challenges to astronaut health during deep space exploration missions. The fellows become part of the TRISH Academy of Bioastronautics, a virtual, interactive forum for early career space researchers.


“To reach Mars and the next stage of human exploration, the space industry will need a robust pipeline of highly trained scientists focused on human health”, said Dr. Dorit Donoviel, director of the Translational Research Institute for Space Health. “TRISH has selected five postdoctoral fellows who are answering that call. We are proud to welcome these outstanding scientists to our Academy of Bioastronautics”. 


The postdoctoral fellows are: 


Evan Buettmann, Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University

Investigating the Effects of Simulated Microgravity Duration and Connexin 43 Deficiency on Bone Fracture Healing

Mentor: Henry Donahue, Ph.D.


Matthew Gaidica, Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Manipulating Sleep Architecture as an Operational Countermeasure

Mentor: Ben Dantzer, Ph.D.


Kristyn Hoffman, Ph.D., NASA Johnson Space Center

Development of Machine Learning-Derived Microbiological and Immune Signatures:  Applications in Adaptive Risk Assessment of Infectious Disease During Spaceflight

Mentor: C. Mark Ott, Ph.D.


M. Arifur Rahman, Ph.D., University of Hawaii, Honolulu

Medical Oxygen Delivery System in Exploration Atmosphere Minimizing the Risk of Fire

Mentor: Aaron Ohta, Ph.D.


Maria Sekyi, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco

Microgravity and Partial Gravity Effects on Hepatic Organoid Steatosis and Function

Mentor: Tammy Chang, M.D., Ph.D.


Funded through a cooperative agreement with NASA’s Human Research Program, TRISH helps solve the health challenges to human deep space exploration. The Institute finds and funds disruptive, breakthrough research and technologies that can reduce risks to astronaut health and performance.


The Institute is led by Baylor College of Medicine and includes consortium partners the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Learn more about the Translational Research Institute for Space Health.



SpaceRef staff editor.