HOUSTON INNOVATORS PODCAST EPISODE 14
Houston-based organization tasked by NASA to take risks and innovate solutions in space health
For Dorit Donoviel, innovation means risk — and there's not a lot that's riskier than traveling to and living in outer space. As director of Houston-based TRISH — the Translational Research Institute for Space Health — Donoviel is tasked by NASA to take some risks in order to innovate.
"Everyone tosses the word 'innovation' around, but that means, to us, taking risks in science. Health care, in particular, is very risk averse, but the space industry is taking risks every single day when they put people in a rocket and hurl them into space," Donoviel says on this week's episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "If we're going to mars, for example, we are going to put people at risk.
"For us to take risks in order to reduce risk is a really amazing opportunity."
TRISH works hand in hand with NASA's Human Research Program to identify the program's biggest concerns, and then tap into professors, researchers, and scientists from Baylor College of Medicine, California Institute of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, and other partners in order to innovate solutions.
Some of the issues TRISH is working to provide solutions for range from protecting from radiation exposure on the moon and mars to personal health care — astronauts have to be a doctor to themselves when they are on the space station.
"That's a totally new model for health care, so we have to solve all those problems and invest in them," Donoviel says.
In a lot of ways, TRISH connects the dots of modern space research, explains Donoviel. The organization taps into its researcher network, as well as into startups and companies with innovative technologies, in order to deliver the best space innovations to NASA.
Donoviel goes into more details on how TRISH interacts with entrepreneurs as well as what new technologies the organization has seen success with in the episode. Stream the podcast below, and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.