Space Health Institute launches first commercial spaceflight medical research program

Space Health Institute launches first commercial spaceflight medical research program

Press release from: Translational Research Institute for Space Health
Posted: Tuesday September 7 2021

The Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine today announced the creation of the first-of-its-kind research platform to study the human health and performance of spaceflight participants. private. Working with commercial spaceflight providers and their passengers, TRISH’s Enhancing eXploration Platforms and Analog Definition (EXPAND) program will collect in-flight health data from multiple spaceflight and host it in a centralized research database. .

As a partner in NASA’s Human Research Program, the Institute helps solve health and performance challenges for human exploration of deep space by finding and funding groundbreaking and disruptive research and technology. The aim is to reduce the risks to the health of astronauts and to discover advances in terrestrial health care.

“The space environment causes rapid bodily changes. It can help us understand how we humans respond to and overcome stress. Ensuring that space explorers stay healthy prompts us to invent new approaches for the early detection and prevention of medical conditions, ”explained TRISH Executive Director Dorit Donoviel, Ph.D.“ Study a wide range of people in space increases our knowledge of human biology. TRISH’s EXPAND program will capitalize on opportunities with commercial spaceflight providers and their crew keen to open up new avenues of research.

EXPAND research addresses a wide range of challenges that humans face during long duration space missions: early detection and treatment of medical conditions, protection from the effects of radiation, mental health, team dynamics, and more. TRISH was the first to combine the studies of several researchers to streamline the process for spaceflight participants.

“This revolutionary research model is only possible because everyone – scientists, commercial spaceflight companies and passengers – recognizes the importance of space health research and what we can learn by working together,” said Dr Emmanuel Urquieta, medical director of TRISH. .

The first commercial space flight carrying EXPAND health research is along three days Inspiration4 Mission, launched on September 15. Inspiration4’s all-civilian crew will perform a variety of human health experiments supported by TRISH while in orbit. The crew will also test new miniaturized medical abilities that may one day find their way into land-based healthcare facilities.

“Shorter commercial spaceflights like Inspiration4 have similarities to NASA’s early Artemis missions,” said Jimmy Wu, senior biomedical engineer at TRISH. “This allows TRISH to test new health and performance technologies for future NASA astronauts. “

In addition to new experiments, TRISH’s goal is to provide a state-of-the-art integrated medical and environmental research knowledge bank as well as a repository of biological samples. EXPAND will capture the research, medical data and biological samples of all volunteer participants in commercial space flights. TRISH selected TestX to build the centralized database.

“The EXPAND database has the flexibility to seamlessly integrate multiple types of data from different flight providers to create a repository that can integrate information,” explained James Hury, Deputy Director and Chief Innovation Officer of TRISH. . “A centralized and standardized research database and biobank will increase access to human health knowledge for the global research community. “

TRISH is funded by NASA through a cooperative agreement with the NASA Human Research Program, and is a consortium led by Baylor College of Medicine and includes the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Learn more about the Translational Research Institute for Space Health.

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