Objectives of the Space Medicine Pathway are to:

(a) Demonstrate knowledge about human adaptation and biomedical risks associated with space travel

(b) Describe countermeasures for mitigating risks and relate advances from space medicine to enhance health on Earth

(c) Utilize research to extend knowledge about space medicine and its applications to terrestrial medicine. 

All three objectives map to CCGG Goal 2 Medical knowledge, Subgoal 2.1 Demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological and social-behavioral sciences, as well as the application of this knowledge to diagnose, manage and prevent disease.

Pathway Requirements:  

Students must successfully complete:

During First Year - MESPM 610 (Spring/MS-1 Term 4) Introduction to Human Space Exploration and Medicine 

During Second Year - MESPM 611 (Fall/MS-2 Term 2) Topics in Human Space Exploration and Medicine

During Third or Fourth Year - MESPM 615 Space Medicine Research

 If you have questions about the electives, please contact Nancy Gibbins.

How to Apply for the Pathway: 

Students are eligible to apply for participation in the Space Medicine Pathway during or following completion of MESPM 611. During this elective, we ask that students interested in applying to the Space Medicine Pathway identify themselves to the pathway coordinator. Each interested student is assessed by the pathway director. The student must be in good academic standing, dedicated to completing the pathway and have a research project that (a) meets the objectives of MESPM 615 and (b) is in an area where the Center for Space Medicine can provide a suitable faculty mentor.

Space Medicine Pathway Electives

MESPM 610 Introduction to Human Space Exploration and Medicine
A course offered each spring to Baylor MS-1 students with the following educational objectives:

  • Introduce students to knowledge about biomedical risks and human adaptation associated with space travel
  • Provide information on how the unique environment of space, including reduced gravity and solar particle radiation, induces changes resembling medical disorders on Earth
  • Describe scientific research, new technologies and medical approaches to decrease risks for human space exploration
  • Teach students about interdisciplinary approaches for solving biomedical problems arising on international space missions
  • Expose students to interfaces and opportunities between space medicine and other areas of science, medicine and engineering

MESPM 611 Topics in Human Space Exploration and Medicine
A course offered each fall to Baylor MS-2 students with the following educational objectives:

  • Introduce students to how remote, harsh environments on Earth can serve as analogs to improve capabilities for space
  • Expose students to technological and clinical care advances in space medicine
  • Provide information on countermeasures research to mitigate risks to human health in space
  • Discuss the role of the International Space Station for space biomedical science and international collaboration
  • Describe the role of the commercial sector in partnering with academia and government for research and the emerging sector of commercial spaceflight

MESPM 615 Space Medicine Research
Course (4 credits, 4 week experience) offered to BCM MS-3 & MS-4 students who have successfully completed MESPM 610 and MESPM 611. The educational objectives are:

  • Gain “hands-on” experience in conducting biomedical research that contributes to the field of space medicine
  • Learn principles and methods of scientific investigation relevant to today’s technology-savvy physician-scientist
  • Expose students to the importance of interdisciplinary research collaboration and mentorship 
  • Provide in-depth information on clinical space medicine topics 
  • Teach students about interdisciplinary approaches for clinical problem solving arising on international space missions
  • Expose students to the importance of group discussions and critical thinking relevant to space medicine and clinical problems arising in extreme environments on Earth

Pathway Completion:

Students who complete the Space Medicine Pathway are acknowledged during commencement when they receive their M.D. degree. They also receive a designation on their transcript.