May 22, 2012

NASA, NSBRI select 29 proposals to support crew health on missions

NASA’s Human Research Program and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute of Houston will fund 29 proposals to help investigate questions about astronaut health and performance on future deep space exploration missions.

The selected proposals are from 25 institutions in 11 states and will receive a total of about $26 million over a one- to three-year period.

A major area of emphasis for both HRP and NSBRI has been the recently identified issue of visual impairment in astronauts during and after long-duration spaceflight. In addition, eight of the selected proposals will examine several facets of this poorly understood syndrome.

HRP and NSBRI research provides knowledge and technologies to improve human health and performance during space exploration and develops possible countermeasures for problems experienced during space travel. The organizations’ goals are to help astronauts complete their challenging missions successfully and preserve astronauts’ health throughout their lives.

HRP quantifies crew health and performance risks during spaceflight and develops strategies that mission planners and system developers can use to monitor and mitigate the risks. These studies often lead to advancements in understanding and treating illnesses in patients on Earth.

The 29 projects were selected from 104 proposals received in response to the research announcement “Research and Technology Development to Support Crew Health and Performance in Space Exploration Missions.” Scientific and technical experts from academia and government reviewed the proposals. NASA will manage 14 of the projects; NSBRI will manage 15.

NSBRI is a NASA-funded consortium of institutions studying 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.

These grants are collectively valued at approximately $26 million over their lifetimes of one to three years and are listed below.


Dawn Bowles, Ph.D., Duke University, Proteomic Profiling of Human Heart Tissue Exposed to Microgravity

  • Richard Boyle, Ph.D., NASA Ames Research Center, Inner Ear Otoconia Response in Mice to Micro- and Hyper-gravity
  • Melpo Christofidou-Solomidou, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Novel Double-Hit Mouse Model to Investigate Oxidative Damage from Radiation/ Hyperoxia Related to Space Exploration – Evaluation of Dietary Flaxseed as Countermeasure
  • Scott Dulchavsky, M.D., Ph.D., Henry Ford Health System, Microgravity Associated Compartmental Equilibration
  • Ute Fischer, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology, Protocols for Asynchronous Communication in Space Operations: Communication Analysis
  • Charles Fuller, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, Head-Down Tilt as a Model for Intracranial and Intraocular Pressures, and Retinal Changes during Spaceflight
  • Alan Hargens, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, Fluid Distribution before, during and after Prolonged Space Flight
  • Steve Kozlowski, Ph.D., Michigan State University, Monitoring and Regulating Teamwork
  • C. Mark Ott, Ph.D., NASA Johnson Space Center, Efficacy of Antimicrobials on Bacteria Cultured in a Spaceflight Analog
  • F. Andrew Ray, Ph.D., KromaTiD, Next Generation Approaches to Chromatid Painting
  • Donna Roberts, M.D, Medical University of South Carolina, Human Cerebral Vascular Autoregulation and Venous Outflow in Response to Microgravity-Induced Cephalad Fluid Redistribution
  • Peter Roma, Ph.D., Institutes for Behavior Resources, Development of an Objective Behavioral Assay of Cohesion to Enhance Composition, Task Performance, and Psychosocial Adaptation in Long-Term Work Groups
  • Michael Stenger, Ph.D., Wyle Science, Technology and Engineering, Distribution of Body Fluids during Long Duration Space Flight and Subsequent Effects on Intraocular Pressure and Vision Disturbance
  • Susana Zanello, Ph.D., Universities Space Research Association, Evaluation of Hindlimb Suspension as a Model to Study Ophthalmic Complications in Microgravity: Ocular Structure and Function and Association with Intracranial Pressure


NSBRI Awards

Cardiovascular Alterations Team

  • Benjamin Levine, M.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Effects of Microgravity on Intracranial Pressure
  • Mohan Natarajan, Ph.D., University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Targeting NO/IKK Signaling to Counteract Hemodynamic Flow-Dependent Endothelial Dysfunction and Vascular Damage after Space Radiation


Human Factors and Performance Team

  • Ann Barrett, Ph.D., U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center, Stabilized Foods for Use in Extended Spaceflight: Preservation of Shelf-Life, Nutrient Content and Acceptability
  • Elizabeth Klerman, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School – Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Ultra-Short Light Pulses as Efficient Countermeasures for Circadian Misalignment and Objective Performance and Subjective Alertness Decrements
  • Steven Lockley, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School – Brigham and Women’s Hospital, The ISS Dynamic Lighting Schedule: An in-flight lighting countermeasure to facilitate circadian adaptation, improve sleep and enhance alertness and performance on the International Space Station
  • Debra Schreckenghost, TRACLabs, Automation in Procedures: Guidelines for Allocating Tasks for Performance


Musculoskeletal Alterations Team

  • Henry Donahue, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, Integrated Regulation of Bone and Muscle Metabolism by Simulated Microgravity
  • Lori Ploutz-Snyder, Ph.D., Universities Space Research Association, Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Exercise Training with Small Compact Exercise Equipment


Neurobehavioral and Psychosocial Factors

  • David Dinges, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Markers of Susceptibility to├é┬áNeurobehavioral Decrements in Space Flight
  • Robert Hienz, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, Detection and Prevention of Neurobehavioral Vulnerability to Space Radiation
  • Rachael Seidler, Ph.D., University of Michigan, Bed Rest as a Spaceflight Analog to Study Neurocognitive Changes: Extent, Longevity, and Neural Bases


Sensorimotor Adaptation Team

  • Jacob Bloomberg, Ph.D., NASA Johnson Space Center, Developing Predictive Measures of Sensorimotor Adaptability to Produce Customized Countermeasure Prescriptions


Smart Medical Systems and Technology Team

  • Aaron Dentinger, Ph.D., General Electric, Non-Invasive Monitoring of Intracranial Pressure with Volumetric Ophthalmic Ultrasound
  • Gary Strangman, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School – Massachusetts General Hospital, Multi-Use Near-Infrared Spectroscopy System for Spaceflight Health Applications
  • Michael Williams, M.D., Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Comparison of Continuous Non-Invasive and Invasive Intracranial Pressure Measurement

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