Awards and Recognition

 

 

DSLS Scientists Win Prestigious Awards

DSLS Scientist Team Awards

 

Ajitkumar Mulavara, Ph.D. is a member of the Human Research Pilot Field Test (PFT) team which was recently recognized with a JSC Group Achievement Award.  May 2015.

 

Sara Zwart, Ph.D. was a Group Achievement Award recipient for the Nutrition SMO Study, which led to a total of 11-peer reviewed publications.  May 2015.


Team member, Janice Huff, Ph.D. received a JSC Group Achievement Award for the Decadal Survey; “The Impact of Sex and Gender on Adaptation to Space,” October 31, 2014.

 

The SPRINT Ultrasound Team received a Director’s Innovation Team Award, Johnson Space Center, October 28, 2014. USRA Team members are Lori Ploutz-Snyder, Ph.D. and Jessica Scott, Ph.D.

 

Five USRA scientists were among those recognized in the Human Health and Performance Monthly Spotlight, June 2014 for grants awarded in May: “Congratulations to grant recipients: Brian Crucian, Douglas Ebert, Ajitkumar Mulavara, Jason Norcross, Lori Ploutz-Snyder, Jessica Scott, Sherry Thaxton, Gordon Vos, Virginia Wotring, and Susana Zanello.  NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) selected a total of 26 proposals for a total of $17M over one to three years. The selected proposals will investigate impacts on astronaut health and performance during future deep space exploration missions. This research may help protect astronauts as they venture farther into the solar system than ever before to explore an asteroid and, eventually, Mars. Full announcement here: http://www.nasa.gov/content/nasa-nsbri-select-21-proposals-to-support-crew-health/

 

The Human Health Performance (HHP) Monthly Spotlight - The July website featured congratulations to Dr. Jacob Bloomberg (PI) and the Functional Task Test (FTT) Team on their “Achievement in Biotechnology, Health and Education Award” received at the 3rd Annual ISS Research and Development Conference held in Chicago, IL in June in recognition of top results for the Functional Task Test and understanding the effects of long-duration space flight on astronaut functional task performance. USRA FTT team members are: Ajitkumar Mulavara, Lori Ploutz-Snyder, and Jeffrey Ryder.

 

The Digital Astronaut Project (DAP) Bone Remodeling Model and the Space Cancer Risk Model (NSCR) and DSLS Scientist Lealem Mulugeta were featured in the Human Research Program’s Annual Report for 2013 as Major Technical Accomplishments, pp15-17.

 

On January 30, 2014, the Technology Transfer Office within the Strategic Opportunity and Development Office hosted the Invention and Contributions Board (ICB) Awards and the JSC Exceptional Software Awards ceremony.  At the awards ceremony — in addition to the JSC Exceptional Software Award — members of the Space Radiation Program Element team were also recognized by the Inventions and Contributions Board (ICB) for the Major Space Act Award (SAA) for their product:  “NASA Space Cancer Risk (NSCR) 2012 Version 1.0 Web Server”.  JSC-SK team members include Francis Cucinotta (former NASA), Patrick O’Neill (NASA) and the following USRA employees: Lori Chappell, Shaowen Hu, Myung-Hee Kim, Hatem Nounu, and Ianik Plante.  The JSC Director, Mrs. Ellen Ochoa presented the Space Act Award certificates in this ceremony. Family, friends, co-workers, supervisors, and Directors were in attendance.

 

Lori Chappell, Zarana Patel (Shavers), Janapriya Saha, and Yongfeng Li, each received a Scholars-in-Training (SIT) Travel Award to the Radiation Research Society Annual Meeting, to be held in New Orleans, LA, September 14-18, 2013.  A total of 137 SIT abstracts were submitted for consideration.  These were judged, blindly, by 28 referees representing the radiation research community.

 

Lori Ploutz-Snyder was one of six individuals from SK/SD recognized at the Engineering Software, Robotics, and Simulation Division (ER) All-Hands meeting  in the JSC Building 30 auditorium on May 1, 2013 for their support to pilot testing for the lower body loading device (proposed for use with ARED to displace some load from the shoulders to the hips).  Recognition by Rob Ambrose was for work done last fall; however, a CR for continued joint work is planned.  Those recognized were from NASA, USRA and Wyle: Nate Newby, Erin Caldwell, Lori Ploutz-Snyder, Mark Guilliams, Bruce Nieschwitz, and Linda Loerch. May 2013.

 

The Radiation Team of Francis A. Cucinotta, Myung-Hee Y. Kim, Patrick O’Neill, Lori Chappell, Shaowen Hu, Ianik Plante, and Hatem N. Nounu won a 2013 JSC Software of the Year Award for the NASA Space Cancer Risk (NSCR) 2012 version 1 Web Server.

 

The NASA Space Radiation Cancer Risk Model (NSCR) was “Runner Up” for the 2013 Software of the Year Awards for NASA, Office of the Chief Engineer, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.  Space Radiation Team Members: FA Cucinotta, M-H Kim, P O’Neill, L Chappell, S Hu, I Plante, and H Nounu.

 

Christian Otto, Susana Zanello, and the Visual Impairment and Intracranial Pressure (VIIP) Team received a NASA Honor Group Achievement Award for its accomplishments,  “The Visual Impairment/Intracranial Pressure (VIIP) team is honored for their aggressive pursuit of physiologic data related to this syndrome and their significant effort to share this evidence with the science community. Data compilation, analysis, and multi-discipline, cross-cutting collaboration were the key elements of their successful transition from definition into targeted research to mitigate the risk.  Exceptional dedication and initiative from the VIIP team laid the foundation for significant scientific progress toward understanding the effects of long-term spaceflight on the ocular system.” Presented by the NASA Johnson Space Center Director, Ellen Ochoa, to the Visual Impairment/Intracranial Pressure Team. Tuesday, August 20, 2013.

 

Adrian LeBlanc
Team Member Recipient – Top Space Station Research Award of the Year – Discoveries in Microgravity

Thomas Lang, Ph.D., professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California San Francisco, recipient of a team award in recognition of outstanding results on Preventing Bone Loss in Long-Duration Spaceflight – named a Top Discovery on the International Space Station in 2012. Lang accepted this award on behalf of those who worked on bone loss in long-duration spaceflight: measurements and countermeasures. This includes Joyce Keyak, Ph.D., for assessment of hip bone strength and fracture risk with QCT data from astronauts; Scott Smith, Ph.D., and colleagues, for the first identified successful countermeasure “prescription” results; and Adrian LeBlanc, for the Bisphosphonates study results on the second successful countermeasure prescription.

 

Myung-Hee Kim and Artem Ponomarev were recipients of a Tech Brief Certificate for contributing to the development of scientific or technical innovation, which has been approved for publication as a NASA Tech Brief, entitled GCR Event-Based risk Model (GERM) code MSC-24760-1‖, presented by the NASA Chairperson, Inventions and Contributions Board, April 18, 2012 (issued and delivered to individuals in December, 2012).

 

Susana Zanello and Lori Ploutz-Snyder of the Division of Space Life Sciences are the recipients of awards for their meritorious proposals in response to the NASA Research Announcement, “Research and Technology Development to Support Crew Health and Performance in Space Exploration Missions.”  Following an external peer review, NASA and NSBRI selected 29 proposals from 104 received, representing 11 states and 25 institutions.

 

Lori Ploutz-Snyder received an NSBRI award (Musculoskeletal Alterations Team) for her proposal, “Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Exercise Training with Small Compact Exercise Equipment.”

 

As members of the Flight Analogs Science Team who successfully restarted bed rest studies, Ronita Cromwell, Patrice Yarbough, and Susana Zanello received a Commendation Award from the Space Life Sciences Directorate, NASA Johnson Space Center, September 2011.

 

New NASA Cancer model by Lori Chappell, Myung-Hee Kim and Francis A. Cucinotta 
Francis Cucinotta (NASA Program Scientist) reported 27 January 2012 that the National Academy of Sciences has completed their review of the new NASA Cancer model…Overall the report is very favorable agreeing with our uncertainty analysis approach and most importantly the new Quality factors we proposed were viewed as highly favorable.  In fact, the ICRP will start to look at the radiation Quality approach we developed to possibly become the international standard within a few years.  Many people in the group deserve some praise as they had some indirect roles in the model development including: Hatem Nounu, Minli Wang, Artem Ponomarev, Ianik Plante, Megumi Hada and Janice Huff.  "And Lori and Myung-Hee deserve  much praise and credit as co-authors of the NASA model". A pdf summary may be viewed at: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13343

 

The EEP Space Biomedical Research Institute’s Gravitational Physiology Beginning Investigator Award recognizes outstanding research related to gravitational physiology by a postdoctoral trainee that is relevant to the physiological missions of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI).  Applicants must be first author on an abstract submitted to an EEP topic category (1103-APS through 1120-APS) at the EB Meeting.

 

DSLS Scientist Awards

 

Lori Chappell

October 2013 Scientist of the Month for her poster, “Estimation of the Dose and Dose Rate Effectiveness Factor,” which was presented at the 2013 Radiation Research Society Meeting in New Orleans, LA. 

 

Received a New Investigator Award for the 2012 American Statistical Association Conference on Radiation and Health, June 10-13, 2012, Kennebunkport, Maine. Lori  received a travel award and participated in the New Investigator Training Session during which her oral talk was critiqued by established investigators.

 

Johnny Conkin

Awarded a NASA Silver Snoopy to be presented during the JSC Silver Snoopy Awards Ceremony July 12, 2016. The Silver Snoopy Award is a prestigious award given to NASA employees and contractors for outstanding achievements related to human flight safety or mission success. The Silver Snoopy Award is given personally by NASA astronauts, as the award represents the astronauts' recognition of excellence. To qualify for the Silver Snoopy Award, eligible candidates will have made contributions toward enhancing the probability of mission success, or made improvements in design, administrative/ technical/production techniques, business systems, flight and/or systems safety or identification and correction or preventive action for errors. June 2016.

 

DSLS Scientist of the Month in February for his poster, “Designing an Exploration Atmosphere Prebreathe Protocol,” which was presented at the 2015 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop held January 13–15 at the Galveston Island Convention Center in Galveston, Texas. Extravehicular activities (EVAs) at remote locations must maximize limited oxygen (O2) resources and minimize the risk of decompression sickness (DCS).

 

Received a SLSD Director’s Commendation Award, “For outstanding teamwork in implementing the In-Suit Light Exercise Prebreathe Protocol during STS-134,” July 2013. 

 

As a member of the STS-134/ULF6 In-Suit Light Exercise Team, received the JSC Group Achievement Award, dated September 7, 2011.

 

Ronita Cromwell

April 2016 DSLS Scientist of the Month for her poster "Comparison of Structural and Functional Ocular Outcomes Between 14- and 70-day Bed Rest” which was presented at the 2016 Human Research Program Investigator’s Workshop Meeting in Galveston, TX. This study was performed to compare structural and functional ocular outcomes between 14- and 70-day Head- down tilt bed rest (HDTBR) in healthy human subjects. Our hypothesis was that the amount of ocular changes induced by HDTBR is affected by the time spent in the HDTBR position. Methods: Two integrated, multidisciplinary studies conducted at the NASA Flight Analogs Research Unit (FARU): 14- and 70-day  6º HDTBR, and NASA standard HDTBR screening procedures (healthy adults).

 

DSLS Scientist of the month in January 2015 for her poster “Ocular Outcomes Comparison Between 14- and 70-day Head-down Tilt Bed Rest,” to be presented at the 2015 Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, January 13–15 in Galveston, Texas. DSLS team members named on this poster are: Drs. Susana Zanello, Patrice Yarbough, and Rob Ploutz-Snyder.

 

DSLS Scientist of the month in August 2014 for her poster “70 Days of 6 Degrees-head Down Tilt Bed Rest and its Impact on Ocular Parameters,” presented at the International Society for Gravitational Physiology Meeting in Waterloo, Canada, June 2014. Ocular changes such as visual impairment and intracranial pressure (VIIP) have been observed in astronauts returning from long-duration spaceflight.  These changes may be attributed to the shift in body fluids due to microgravity, thus it remains to be determined whether 6° head-down bed rest is a good analog for VIIP.

 

Scientist of the Month in February 2014 for the team’s poster, “Long duration head-down tilt bed rest studies: safety considerations regarding vision health,” which was presented at the 2013 HRP Investigators Workshop at Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas.

 

Received a Human Research Program (HRP) Peer Award for work supporting international collaborations on Human Health Countermeasures studies, September 17, 2013.

 

Appointed as a faculty member of the Human Systems Academy by Dr. Jeff Davis, Director of the Human Health and Performance Directorate, NASA Johnson Space Center, April 16, 2013.

 

Invited to join the UTMB Institute for Translational Sciences Multidisciplinary Translational Team to study visual changes related to spaceflight, March 12, 2012.

 

Promoted to Deputy Element Scientist, Human Health and Countermeasures Element (HHC).  In this role, she will work in collaboration with the HHC Element Scientist and provide scientific support for the element.  Ronita will also participate in developing and guiding the scientific priorities of HHC, and assist with management of ongoing investigations across the HHC Element.

 

Janice Huff

Invited committee member for the National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP) Scientific Committee 1-24 Phase 2: Radiation Exposures in Space and the Potential for Central Nervous System Effects. February 2016.

 

(Chair) Session: New Investigations – Space Radiation, NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston Island Convention Center, Galveston, TX, January 15, 2015.

 

Team member, Janice Huff, Ph.D. received a JSC Group Achievement Award for the Decadal Survey; “The Impact of Sex and Gender on Adaptation to Space,” October 31, 2014.

 

Myung-Hee Y. Kim

JSC Software of the Year winner – NASA Space Canter Risk (NSCR) 2012 Version 1.0 Web Server, along with Francis A. Cucinotta, Patrick O’Neill, et al., March 25, 2013.

 

Received a Performance Award, a Space Life Science pin flown on STS-134, from the Director of Space Life Sciences, NASA Johnson Space Center, October 3, 2011.

 

Adrian LeBlanc

Appointed as member of the Editorial Board for a special Aviation, Space, & Environmental Medicine (ASEM) Journal Supplement entitled: “Operational Exercise Countermeasures: The First Decade on ISS Expeditions 1–25”.

 

Dr. LeBlanc’s article entitled “Bisphosphonates as a supplement to exercise to protect bone during long-duration spaceflight” (Osteoporosis Int 24:2105-14) was featured in the series: Research Progress Reports from the NASA Human Research Program - Protecting Bone During Long-Duration Spaceflight: Bisphosphonates Supplement Exercise, Aviat Space Environ Med 85(1):86-87, 2014). These summaries are written for NASA and prepared with the support of NASA’s Human Research Program Office and are intended to alert the scientific community to ongoing work in Space Medicine.

 

Received an ISS achievement award in the category: top discoveries in microgravity “for the Bisphosphonates study results on the second successful countermeasure prescription, “Second Annual ISS Research and Development Conference: Discoveries, Applications and Opportunities, Denver, CO, July 16-18, 2013.

http://www.nasa.gov/content/top-space-station-research-awards-of-the-year-discoveries-in-microgravity/stationresearch/

 

Ajitkumar Mulavara

March 2016 DSLS Scientist of the Month for his poster, “Developing Personalized Sensorimotor Adaptability Countermeasures for Spaceflight.”  Poster presented at the 39th Annual Midwinter Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, held in San Diego, CA, on February 20–24, 2016. Information from this study will help in the design of sensorimotor adaptability training countermeasures that may be customized for each crewmember’s individual characteristics.

 

Appointed as the NSBRI Team Leader for the Sensorimotor Adaptation Team for June 1, 2015–May 31, 2016.

 

Appointed NSBRI Associate Team Leader for the Sensorimotor Adaptability Team for FY15.

 

Received an extension of his appointment at the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) as the Associate Team Leader of the Sensorimotor Adaptation Team. October, 2013.

 

Received notification November 14, 2013 from the Journal of Vestibular Research that one of his articles was among three Editor’s Choice selections to be made freely available on-line: (Mulavara AP, Ruttley T, Cohen HS, Peters BT, Miller C, Brady R, Merkle L, Bloomberg JJ. (2012) Vestibular-somatosensory convergence in head movement control during locomotion after long-duration space flight. J Vestibular Res 22(2):153–166, DOI 10.3233/VES-2011-0435).

 

Appointed as Associate Team Leader for the NSBRI Sensorimotor Team, June 1, 2012.

 

Lealem Mulugeta

DSLS Scientist of the Month in September 2014 for his poster “The Digital Astronaut Project Bone Remodeling Model.” We don’t know the contribution of each risk factor on bone loss and recovery of bone strength and which factors are the best targets for countermeasure application; and we need to identify options for mitigation of early onset osteoporosis before, during, and after spaceflight. Skeletal loading along with endocrine regulation and local biochemical mediators are what drives the cellular mechanism of bone remodeling to maintain bone. Exercise induced loading, with appropriate input to a model can approximately predict the effect of specific exercise prescription and thus help to evaluate its benefits as a countermeasure option.

 

DSLS Scientist of the Month in September for his poster, “Computational Biomechanical Models of Squat Exercise Performed on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED),” presented at the Human Research Program Investigator’s Workshop in February 2013. September, 2013.

 

Invited as Keynote speaker at the 7th Annual Pumps & Pipes Conference, Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Houston, TX, December 9, 2013.

 

Received a Human Research Program Peer Award for work supporting the Digital Astronaut Project. September, 2013.

 

Invited by the National Institutes of Health and Physiome Project to join the “Technical Committee for Computational Biology and the Physiome” within the IEEE Engineers in Medicine & Biology Society - http://www.embs.org/member-communities/technical-committees/computational-biology-and-the-physiome ; TC membership list: http://tc-comp-bio-physiome.embs.org/members/.

 

Invited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare as a special speaker at the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare 2013 in the Government Session on NASA’s Verification, Validation and Credibility assessment of biomedical models and simulations.

 

Invited by the FDA to give a special talk on Verification and Validation, and Credibility Assessment of biomedical models and simulations.

 

Appointed as the first Chair and founder of the “Committee for Building Credible Multiscale Models for Healthcare” by recommendation of the Director of the Interagency Modeling and Analysis Group (IMAG), March 2013.

 

Co-authored a successful proposal to attend the August 2012 OpenSim Workshop at Stanford University. 

 

Received a NASA Human Research Program Peer Award, May 11, 2012.

 

Nominated for and inducted into the AIAA Life Science Technical Committee as an international member/representative October 2011.

 

Peter Norsk

Delegated by the HRP Chief Scientist, Dr. Charles, responsibility for the IAA Study Group on Effectiveness of Countermeasures, July 2013.

 

Christian Otto

Featured in a video on NASA’s homepage titled Latest ScienceCasts: “Space Vision” about NASA’s International Space Station Prospective Observational Study of Ocular Health in ISS Crews (Ocular Health) (www.nasa.gov ). Visit http://science.nasa.gov/  and the ISS Experiments website ISS website for more. (From the website) “Many astronauts report a blurring of their eyesight in microgravity. Researchers are trying to get to the bottom of this phenomenon before astronauts travel to Mars and beyond.” November, 2015.

 

Session Chair: Visual Impairment and Intracranial Pressure Flight Experiments, NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston Island Convention Center, Galveston, TX, January 13, 2015.

 

Scientist of the Month in October 2014 for his poster, “NASA’s Number One Human Spaceflight Risk:  The Visual Impairment Intracranial Pressure Risk.  Pathophysiological Hypotheses (Vascular, CNS & Ocular)."  Christian Otto, M.D., MMSc., and the Visual Impairment and Intracranial Pressure (VIIP) Team received a NASA Honor Group Achievement Award for its accomplishments, “The Visual Impairment/Intracranial Pressure (VIIP) team is honored for their aggressive pursuit of physiologic data related to this syndrome and their significant effort to share this evidence with the science community. Data compilation, analysis, and multi-discipline, cross-cutting collaboration were the key elements of their successful transition from definition into targeted research to mitigate the risk.  Exceptional dedication and initiative from the VIIP team laid the foundation for significant scientific progress toward understanding the effects of long-term spaceflight on the ocular system.”

 

Examiner for Advanced Trauma Life Support Course for Physicians (ATLS) Memorial Hermann Hospital, April 11, 2014.

 

Reappointed as a Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Section of Emergency Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. August, 2013.

 

Named co-chair of the Analog Environments Session of the International Academy of Astronautics – Humans in Space Conference, July 8–12, 2013, Cologne, Germany.

 

Awarded a Master’s of Medical Science Degree (MMSc.) from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, May 3, 2013.

 

May 2013 DSLS Scientist of the Month for his poster, “Prospective Observational Study of Ocular Health in ISS Crews — The Ocular Health Study,” presented at the NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, February 12-14, 2013 in Galveston, Texas. The Visual Impairment Intracranial Pressure (VIIP) syndrome is currently NASA’s number one human space flight risk. The syndrome, which is related to microgravity exposure, manifests with changes in visual acuity (hyperopic shifts, scotomas), changes in eye structure (optic disc edema, choroidal folds, cotton wool spots, globe flattening, and distended optic nerve sheaths). In some cases, elevated cerebrospinal fluid pressure has been documented postflight, reflecting increased intracranial pressure (ICP).

 

Zarana (Patel) Shavers

Featured on the Human Health and Performance website in the September Monthly Spotlight for her Fundamental Biology grant award entitled, “Development of an Autonomous Dual Chamber Bioreactor for the Growth of 3-Dimensional Epithelial-Stromal Tissues in Microgravity.”

 

Received a partial travel award for the Radiation Research Society 58th Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico, September 30–October 3, 2012.

 

Received a Scholars-In-Training (SIT) Travel Award for the 58th RRS Annual Meeting to be held in San Juan Puerto Rico, September 30–October 3, 2012.

 

Neil Pellis

Keynote Speaker for the Houston Methodist Postdoctoral & Trainee Association (MAPTA) Winter Symposium, Houston, TX, November 30, 2015.

 

DSLS Director, Neal R. Pellis, Ph.D., was appointed an Associate Editor and member of the Editorial Board of the forthcoming Nature group journal, npj Microgravity. Launch of npj Microgravity is anticipated in coordination with the 30th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR) October 22–26, 2014.

 

Ianik Plante

Received a JSC Exceptional Software of the Year Award for his contribution to the NASA Space Radiation Cancer Risk (NSCR) code (to be given January 30, 2014). 

 

Received a Young Investigator Award to attend the 16th International Symposium on Microdosimetry in Treviso, Italy, October 20-25, 2013.

 

Received a JSC Exceptional Software of the Year Award, September 27, 2012.

 

Received a Scholars in Training (SIT) travel award from the Radiation Research Society to attend and present at the 14th International Congress of Radiation Research, Warsaw, Poland, August 28–September 1, 2011. 

 

At the JSC Exceptional Software Award Competition, January 19, 2012, Dr. Plante presented a description of the RITRACKS software that he developed. He won the award and presented the software for the NASA Agency Software of the Year competition held by the Inventions and Contributions Board.

 

Selected to receive a Young Investigator Award for the 12th International Workshop on Radiation Damage to DNA (Prague, Czech Republic, June 2nd–7th, 2012).

 

Lori Ploutz-Snyder

Received the Sex and Gender Group Achievement Award at the HRP IWS along with a letter of appreciation from the Directorate’s Office. September 2015

 

Among recipients of a JSC Group Achievement Award for “The Impact of Sex and Gender on Adaptation to Space.” A photo shoot of the Awardees was conducted at the NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop held at the Galveston Island Convention Center, January 13-15, 2015. 

 

(Chair) Session: Exercise and Functional Performance, NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston Island Convention Center, Galveston, TX, January 13, 2015.

 

(Chair) Session: Countermeasures and Functional Testing in 70-Days of Bed Rest: Next Generation ISS Exercise Protocol I, NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston Island Convention Center, Galveston, TX, January 15, 2015.

 

Hosted the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) Musculoskeletal Alterations Team dinner and program.

 

The SPRINT Ultrasound Team received a Director’s Innovation Team Award, Johnson Space Center, October 28, 2014. USRA Team members are Lori Ploutz-Snyder, Ph.D. and Jessica Scott, Ph.D.

 

Journal of Applied Physiology “APS Selects” Article - This paper was selected in a new initiative called APS Selects and featured as the most outstanding article of the month for September 2014. The purpose of APS Selects is to rapidly highlight and promote the best paper in each of the society’s journals. (Moore AD Jr, Downs ME, Lee SM, Feiveson AH, Knudsen P, Ploutz-Snyder L. Peak exercise oxygen uptake during and following long-duration spaceflight. Journal of Applied Physiology. Aug 1;117(3)231-8, 2014 APS J Appl Phys ).

 

Medicine and Science In Sports And Exercise (MSSE) Journal Outstanding Article – The following article was featured on an ACSM hot topics as an outstanding article of the month - Downs ME, Hackney KJ, Martin D, Caine TL, Cunningham D, O'Connor DP, Ploutz-Snyder LL. Acute Vascular and Cardiovascular Responses to Blood Flow-Restricted Exercise. Med Sci  Sports Exerc. Aug;46(8):1489-97, 2014.  MSSE website

 

Invited to write a chapter for the journal Physiologic Reviews (From the website:  Physiological Reviews provides state of the art coverage of timely issues in the physiological and biomedical sciences. It appeals to physiologists, neuroscientists, cell biologists, biophysicists, and clinicians with special interest in pathophysiology. Topics are covered in a broad and comprehensive manner. These articles are very useful in teaching and research as they provide interesting, clearly written updates on important new developments  JPR website ) 2014

 

Hosted and participated in the Critical Missions Tasks Workshop in July 2014. In August results were summarized, an executive summary was prepared and presented to HHC management, and a Task Synopsis was prepared requesting authority to proceed with 18 month research project.

Named an Associate Editor for the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (MSSE). 2014

 

DSLS Scientist of the Month in March 2014 for her poster, “Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Exercise Protects Fitness During Bed Rest,” from a recent publication in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) flagship monthly journal.

 

Named Associate Editor for the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

 

Appointed as the NSBRI Team Leader for the Musculoskeletal Alterations Team effective June 1, 2012.  The Musculoskeletal Alterations team is responsible for research related to skeletal muscle and bone health and countermeasures.  Team Leaders are NSBRI funded principal investigators of senior rank at highly recognized research institutions. Team leaders are required to manifest broad scientific understanding across the entire team’s research area and have demonstrated outstanding leadership ability. This is the first time that either a NASA Human Research Program or USRA scientist has been named by NSBRI as a Team Leader.  Dr. Ploutz-Snyder will serve a three year term.

 

Received the Human Research Program Peer Award in 2011. Lori was also invited to present an Outstanding Alumni lecture to the Honors Tutorial College, Ohio University, Fall 2012.

 

Robert Ploutz-Snyder

July Scientist of the Month for his poster, "Justifying Small-N for ISS Research: Can NASA Researchers Stray from Traditional Standards?" presented at the Humans Research Program Investigators' Workshop, February 12–14, 2013 in Galveston, Texas.  July, 2013.

 

Artem L. Ponomarev

 

DSLS Scientist of the Month in January 2014 for his poster, Generalized time-dependent model of radiation-induced chromosomal aberrations in normal and repair-deficient human cells, which was presented at the 59th Annual Radiation Research Society Meeting in September of 2013, New Orleans, LA. 

 

Jeffrey Ryder

Scientist of the Month for June 2015 for his poster, “A Novel Weighted Suit to Assess Ambulatory Performance Under Reduced Strength-to-Body Weight Conditions,” presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, May 29, 2015. Performance outcomes of ambulatory tasks are influenced by human performance capabilities as they relate to one’s own body weight (e.g., strength to body weight). Alterations in body-weight-specific performance are relevant to situations in which performance is impaired with minimal impact to body weight (e.g., muscle deconditioning in astronauts or aging), and also conditions where total weight to be carried is increased without a corresponding increase in performance (e.g., firefighters or soldiers who are required to carry heavy gear).

 

Received a NASA Group Team Achievement Award as part of the Waypoint Spacecraft Conceptual Design Team “for exemplary teamwork and innovation in the development of earth-moon libration point 2 waypoint spacecraft concept and mission design.”

 

Jessica M. Scott

DSLS Scientist of the Month in October 2015 her poster “Time Course of Remodeling: Impact of Exercise Training and Bed Rest on Left Ventricular Morphology and Mechanics” presented at the American Society of Echocardiography Conference June 12–16, 2015 in Boston, MA.

 

(Chair) Session: Countermeasures and Functional Testing In 70-Days of Bed Rest: Next Generation ISS Exercise Protocol II, NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston Island Convention Center, Galveston, TX, January 15, 2015.

 

The SPRINT Ultrasound Team received a Director’s Innovation Team Award, Johnson Space Center, October 28, 2014. USRA Team members are Lori Ploutz-Snyder, Ph.D. and Jessica Scott, Ph.D.

 

April 2014 DSLS Scientist of the Month for her poster, “Temporal Changes in Left Ventricular Mechanics: Impact of Bed Rest and Exercise,” which was presented at the 2014 Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, held in Galveston, Texas. 

 

Bill Todd

Was the June 2013 Scientist of the Month for his poster, "NEEMO 16: Evaluation of Techniques & Equipment for Human Exploration of Near-Earth Asteroids," which was presented at the 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, March 18-22, 2013. NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) is an underwater spaceflight analog that allows a mission-like operational environment and uses buoyancy effects and added weight to simulate different gravity levels.

 

Minli Wang

Selected to receive a Scholar-in-Training Travel Award for the 58th Annual Meeting of the Radiation Research Society, September 30-October 3, 2012, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

 

Christian Westby

Appointed as member of the American Physiological Society’s Science Policy Committee, July 30, 2014.  Service on the committee includes Capitol Hill meetings with members of Congress.

 

Received honors for “Outstanding Mentor Spring 2013” from the  JSC Internship Program and JSC Office of Education. The recognition was for work with a student intern from the University of Louisville-Kentucky.  Her project was titled “The compounding effects of high dietary iron and gamma irradiation on markers of endothelial barrier function.”

 

Selected to participate in the prestigious 2012 NASA Space Radiation Summer School to be held at the Brookhaven National Laboratory May 28– June 15, 2012.

 

Selected by the Environmental and Exercise Physiology (EEP) Section of the American Physiological Society to receive the National Space Biomedical Research Institute Gravitational Physiology Beginning Investigator award for 2012.

 

Virginia Wotring.

Appointed to an adjunct faculty position in the Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

 

DSLS Scientist of the Month in June for her poster, "Effects of radiation exposure and dietary iron on liver metabolic gene expression". Liver function, especially the rate of its metabolic enzyme activities, determines the concentration of circulating drugs as well as the duration of their efficacy. Most pharmaceuticals are metabolized by the liver, and clinically-used medication doses are given with normal liver function in mind. A drug overdose can result in the case of a liver that is damaged and removing pharmaceuticals from the circulation at a rate slower than normal. Alternatively, if liver function is elevated and removing drugs from the system more quickly than usual, it would be as if too little drug had been given for effective treatment. Because of the importance of the liver in drug metabolism, we want to understand any effects of spaceflight on the enzymes of the liver.

 

Received the NASA Career Exploration program Mentor of the Year Award, May 22, 2013.

 

Appointed as a faculty member of the Human Systems Academy by Dr. Jeff Davis, Director of the Human Health and Performance Directorate, NASA Johnson Space Center, May 1, 2013.

 

Completed the requirements for the JSC/Human Health and Performance Directorate Human Systems Academy Research Operations and Integration Certificate. Dr. Wotring received her certificate at the JSC SA All-Hands on April 25, 2013.

 

Patrice Yarbough

Received a Human Research Program (HRP) Peer Award for work supporting the Flight Analog Project, September 17, 2013.

 

Susana Zanello

May 2016 DSLS Scientist of the Month for her poster titled, “Brain Gene Expression Signatures From Cerebrospinal Fluid Exosome RNA Profiling,” presented at the Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop Meeting, February 2016, Galveston, Texas. Visual symptoms reported in astronauts returning from long duration missions in low Earth orbit are thought to be related to fluid shifts within the body due to microgravity exposure, leading to increased intracranial pressure (ICP) and visual impairment and intracranial pressure (VIIP) syndromes.  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 and to evaluate which of these biomarkers can also be detected in plasma.

 

Appointed Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Human and Aerospace Physiological Sciences [CHAPS], King’s College, London, UK, October, 2015.

 

At the invitation of Dr. Chuck Lloyd and team (NASA), participated in three closing events (Google hangout sessions) supporting “Mission X: Train Like and Astronaut,” featuring the new analog HERA. Conducted interviews representing FAP Science for the HRP Outreach Public page and JSC Round Up, which resulted in update of the HRP page featuring HERA (in progress) and the most recent March issue of JSC Roundup.

 

Served as an invited panelist in a “Mis/Adventures in Space” panel discussion event sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences, March 13, 2014.  Details about the event are on the NYAS website.

 

Received a NASA award for her proposal titled, “Evaluation of Hindlimb Suspension as a Model to Study Ophthalmic Complications in Microgravity: Ocular Structure and Function and Association with Intracranial Pressure.”

 

Received a Human Research Program (HRP) Peer Award-2013 for her role as Deputy Project Scientist within the Flight Analogs Project.

 

Scientist of the Month in November 2013. Her student, Jordan Brewer, presented the poster, “Investigation of the Relationship Between Intraocular Pressure and Cardiovascular Measures in Head Down Tilt Bed Rest Subjects,” at UTMB as part of the Medical Student Summer Research Program. For the poster and presentation, Jordan won the Best Translational Research Poster Award, June 26, 2013.

 

Received the Outstanding JSC Mentor Award for Summer 2011 from the JSC Education Office, August 5, 2011. She was nominated for the award by her USRP summer undergraduate intern.

 

Sara Zwart

Notified that she and Dr. Scott Smith (NASA) have been selected to receive the American Astronautical Society’s 2016 “Compelling Results in Human Health in Space” award for the One-Carbon Investigation.  This award will be announced at the ISS Research and Development Conference in San Diego in July 2016.

 

Invited participant and recipient of a travel award from Agilent Technologies for the Mayo Clinic Metabolomics Symposium held in Rochester, MN, October 25–27, 2015. Mayo Clinic is one of six federally funded Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Cores (RCMRC) to support medical research using metabolomics — the comprehensive and quantitative analysis of molecules (metabolites) that define the metabolic signatures of living systems. (Source: Program Metabolomics conference website  and Core Resources Mayo Clinic research )

 

DSLS Scientist of the Month in April 2015 for her poster, “Urinary Sulfate can Predict Changes in Bone Resorption During Space Flight,” presented at the Experimental Biology Meeting, held in Boston, Massachusetts, March 28–April 1, 2015. Mitigating bone loss is critical for space exploration, and diet can play a major role in this effort.  Previous studies showed that dietary composition could influence bone resorption during bed rest.  In this study we examined the role of dietary intake patterns in bone mineral loss in astronauts during space flight.

 

Recipient of NASA’s Silver Snoopy Award in recognition of her contributions of more than a decade for support and enhancement of astronaut health on the International Space Station and ultimately on exploration missions. Two major contributions for which she was instrumental from conception are: "One carbon metabolism" associated with astronaut vision differences and an iPad App dubbed the ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT) to allow easier recording of dietary intake. The ISS FIT App is on schedule to be uplinked in late 2015, literally changing the way we track crew dietary intake data during spaceflight. The Silver Snoopy Award is a prestigious award given to NASA employees and contractors for outstanding achievements related to human flight safety or mission success. The Silver Snoopy Award is given personally by NASA astronauts, as the award represents the astronauts' recognition of excellence. To qualify for the Silver Snoopy Award, eligible candidates will have made contributions toward enhancing the probability of mission success, or made improvements in design, administrative/ technical/production techniques, business systems, flight and/or systems safety or identification and correction or preventive action for errors.  July 2015.

 

The Orion Program held a cake decorating contest on July 15, 2014 in anticipation of Orion’s upcoming test flight this December. There were ten entries and three winning teams. Sara Zwart was a member of Team “Splashdown. The Team won the People’s Choice Award for their cake rendition of an Orion capsule splashdown.

 

Named an Editorial Board member for the journal, npj Microgravity, 2014.

 

The New York Academy of Science published the eBriefing for the panel discussion with Astronaut Charlie Camarda and host Dave Mosher.  

 

Invited to participate in the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) Spring 2014 Lecture Series: “Mis/Adventures in Science”. The topic is sending people and things to space. The panel discussion is at the World Trade Center in NYC on the evening of March 13th. The Panel includes Dr. Sara Zwart and Dr. Charles Camarda (former NASA astronaut). Other invitees are roboticist Dustyn Roberts, and science advisor for television and movies, Dr. Kevin Grazer (his latest project was Gravity).

 

Received an ISS UPA (Urine Processing Assembly) Water Recovery Team Group Achievement Award. August, 2013.

 

The Nutrition Team (Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory – Sara Zwart, Team Member) Received the “People’s Choice” award at the 2013 Tech and Tell Poster session for the IR&D project, “Spaceflight Dietary Intake – there’s (soon) an App for that!” As a part of the award, the team will have the opportunity to present the project to senior management at JSC.

 

Received a “Research Operations and Integration Certificate” from the NASA Johnson Space Center/Health and Performance Directorate Human Systems Academy (HSA).

 

Awarded first place by the JSC Director and published on the JSC webpage for her poster-Countermeasure for Skin Disorders, D. Byerly, D. Arndt, J. Dusl, and  M. Sognier.  

 

Received a Certificate of Recognition from the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA for her submission to the NASA@work challenge, “Collaborative Innovation Video,” July 2012.

 

Received a NASA Gold Power of ONE Award, September 2012.

 

The NASA@work Team has awarded Sara Zwart a Certificate of Recognition for her submission to the NASA@work challenge, “Collaborative Innovation Video”, August, 2012.

 

As a member of the Chilean Miners NASA Rescue Support Team, received a Group Achievement Award, September 2011.