Since 1969, the Universities Space Research Association (USRA), a private, nonprofit corporation, has worked closely with NASA. USRA's Division of Space Biomedicine was founded in 1983 to address the biomedical issues faced by humans in space. Harrison Schmitt, lunar module pilot of Apollo 17, was named as the first Director of the Division. In late 1990, the Division was renamed the Division of Space Life Sciences (DSLS) reflecting a broader charter: "to stimulate, encourage, and assist research in the NASA life sciences." This charter continues today and is encapsulated within three broad programs: the Science Program, the Extramural Support Program and the Education Program.
Our Scientist of the Month is Jessica Scott, Ph.D. for her poster, “Influence of Exercise Modality on Cerebral-Ocular Hemodynamics and Pressures,” which was presented at the HRP Investigators’ Workshop in January.
Exercise training is beneficial for cardiac, muscle and bone health; however, its effects on the development of visual impairment due to intracranial pressure (VIIP) remain controversial. Resistive exercise without a valsalva has been shown to increase intracranial pressure (ICP) by 3mmHg, while with a valsalva the increase is 18mmHg. Similar increases in intraocular pressure (IOP) have been observed during weight lifting.
Previously Featured Scientist of the Month
Susana Zanello, Ph.D. was our Scientist of the Month for her poster, “Brain Gene Expression Signatures From Cerebrospinal Fluid Exosome RNA Profiling,” which was presented at the recent HRP Investigator’s Workshop in Galveston, Texas.
The purpose of this study is to investigate changes in brain gene expression via exosome analysis in patients suffering from ICP elevation of varied severity as a first step toward obtaining evidence suggesting that cognitive function and ICP levels can be correlated with biomarkers in the CSF.
Public Affairs Office Amiko Kauderer interviews Lori L. Ploutz-Snyder, lead investigator of the long-running Sprint VO2 exercise experiment. The study investigates high-intensity, low duration exercise techniques on the space station using a resistance device, an exercise bike and a treadmill. Watch the video.
Welcome to the Division of Space Life Sciences (DSLS) at USRA Houston. As part of a non-profit entity, DSLS has the mission to support NASA and other Federal entities by conducting and managing research that addresses the risks to humans before, during, and after space exploration. DSLS provides high profile scientists, physicians, collaborators, and science managers to the NASA Space Life Sciences Directorate and the Human Research Program (HRP). Additionally, DSLS conducts and hosts major science meetings, seminars, and workshops. The full-time scientist team is made up of 19 scientists from many disciplines within life sciences. DSLS provides an excellent working environment for collegial intellectual exchange.
Dr. Neal R. Pellis, Director
UTMB Aerospace Medicine Grand Rounds
Monthly Aerospace Medicine Grand Rounds seminars
are held at USRA Houston on the 4th Tuesday of each month (January– October).
Please check back for information on upcoming seminars.