Center for Space Medicine

Postdoctoral Fellows

Master
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Current TRISH Postdocs

Terms
Texas

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Heather Allaway, Ph.D.

Item Definition

Will use of long-acting, reversible contraceptives mitigate bone loss in female rats during simulated exploration class missions?
Institution: Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas
Mentor: Susan Bloomfield, Ph.D.
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Morgan

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Morgan Anderson, Ph.D.

Item Definition

Monitoring Biomarkers for Muscular Atrophy Using Nanoelectronic Chip for Astronaut Health
Institution: NASA Ames Research Center
Mentor: Jessica Koehne, Ph.D.
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When muscles deteriorate, they produce a class of protein biomarkers called protease enzymes. If scientists can detect those biomarkers, they can more accurately monitor muscle atrophy. TRISH postdoctoral fellow Morgan Anderson is developing a portable, non-invasive diagnostic to monitor the progression of muscle atrophy over time. The instrument will use easy-to-use cartridges containing nine independent micro-electrodes. Each electrode will detect activity from a different biomarker, creating a “fingerprint” to monitor muscle atrophy during spaceflight. The data will help test the effectiveness of drug inhibitors.

Andrew

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Andrew Ford, Ph.D.

Item Definition

Investigating The Combinatorial Effects Of Intraocular Pressure And Hypobaric Hypoxia On Corneal Function
Institution: Tufts University
Mentor: David Kaplan, Ph.D.
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Michael

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Michael Friedman, Ph.D.

Item Definition

Genetic Variability in Microgravity-Induced Bone and Muscle Loss
Institution: Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va.
Mentor: Henry Donahue, Ph.D.
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Lindsey

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Lindsay Haggett, Ph.D.

Item Definition

Mechanisms of protection from radiation by natural proteins
Institution: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
Mentor: Susan Rosenberg, Ph.D.
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Miguel

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Miguel Jimenez, Ph.D.

Item Definition

In Situ Expression Analysis of Therapeutic Microbes with Gastrointestinal Devices
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mentor: Robert Langer, ScD
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During the long duration of space travel to Mars, there will be limited resources available for astronauts. In particular, there is not enough room to store and refrigerate an unlimited supply of all the desired medicines you might need during a multiple year mission. TRISH postdoctoral fellow Miguel Jimenez is researching the use of therapeutic microorganisms, which may allow for a renewable source of specialized medicines. Astronauts may need to take only a small dose of microbial therapeutics to accomplish the same effect of traditional pills.

Frederico

Item Term
Frederico Kiffer, Ph.D.

Item Definition

Effects of Galactic Cosmic Radiation on Translationally-Relevant Cognitive Behaviors and Response to Social Stress
Institution: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Mentor: Amelia Eisch, Ph.D.
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Utilizing NASA's Space Radiation Laboratory, TRISH postdoctoral fellow Frederico Kiffer and his research team will assess the effects of realistic space radiation exposures on the cognitive behavior of mice using a touchscreen-based platform. This touchscreen platform is similar to tests currently used to monitor the cognitive health of astronauts. In addition, Kiffer and his team will conduct unique social behavior experiments to evaluate the effects of space radiation exposures on aspects of social behavior and social stress resilience. And, the team will assess an experimental diet-based medication on its ability to prevent radiation-related cognitive and social complications.

Eloise

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Eloise Pariset, Ph.D.

Item Definition

Investigation of blood-based circulating biomarkers of responses to space radiation
Institution: NASA Ames Research Center
Mentor: Sylvain Costes, Ph.D.
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TRISH postdoctoral fellow Eloise Pariset is identifying biomarker responses to ionizing particle radiation. Pariset is exploring whether these biomarkers can sufficiently spread radiation-induced cellular damage. Pariset’s investigation will help better understand the role of the immune system’s biomarkers in the spread of radiation damage. A better understanding of how radiation damage spreads could also help create novel treatments for astronauts exploring deep space.

Vivek

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Vivekanand Vimal, Ph.D.

Item Definition

Predicting individual differences in learning to manually stabilize attitude in a space flight analog environment
Institution: Brandeis University in Waltham, Maine
Mentor: Paul DiZio, Ph.D.
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Rachel

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Rachel Vitali, Ph.D.

Item Definition

Scientific Physical And Operations Characterization (SPOC) – Capturing Physical Terrestrial Fieldwork In Context
Institution: University of Michigan
Mentor: Leia Stirling, Ph.D.
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During her two-year research project, TRISH postdoctoral fellow Rachel Vitali will quantify and characterize how scientists move when they conduct their fieldwork in a naturalistic environment using noninvasive wearable technology. This will create a baseline for all future research. Vitali’s findings could have significant implications for the design and development of astronaut equipment and space suits. The research could also affect how space explorers train and plan their missions. In addition, she will investigate which motor control capabilities are unrealistic with the space suit gloves, helping determine tasks that could be done with robotic assistance.

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Previously Funded Postdocs

Terms
Micaela

Item Term
Micaela Cunha, Ph.D.

Item Definition

A mechanistic framework to assess the efficacy of aspirin and other radioprotectors to reduce carcinogenesis by space radiations
Institution: Columbia University in New York City, N.Y.
Mentor: David Brenner, Ph.D.

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Karina Marshall-Goebel, Ph.D.

Item Definition

Assessment of Artificial Gravity as a Countermeasure to Cephalad Fluid Shifting
Institution: Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass.
Mentor: Quan Zhang, Ph.D.