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Houston space health research organization names 3 fellows for bioastronautics program

TRISH, or the Translational Institute of Space Health, has named three fellows to its new program. Photo via bcm.edu

Three Texas scientists have been selected for a Houston organization's prestigious program focused on space health.

TRISH, or the Translational Research Institute for Space Health, which is based out of Houston-based Baylor College of Medicine, has announced its selections for the TRISH 2023 fellowship. The program, announced last fall, is in partnership with California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Supporting the next generation of space health researchers ensures that we will have the best possible data to make evidence-based decisions about managing human systems risk for exploration class missions,” says Dr. Jennifer Fogarty, TRISH’s chief scientific officer, in a news release. “By investing in TRISH postdoctoral fellows, we’re investing in future experts who will strive to solve the complex problems and risks associated with human space exploration. We are thrilled to welcome these accomplished early-career scientists to the TRISH community.”

The three selected postdoctoral fellows are focused on researching within space health — specifically reducing the health risks associated with spaceflight. They will receive a two-year salary stipend and participate in TRISH’s Academy of Bioastronautics, a mentorship community for space health professionals.

“Pursuing my postdoctoral training at TRISH has accelerated my career and expanded my research portfolio, enabling me to make new connections and become a more well-rounded scientist,” says Dr. Evan Buettmann, a TRISH third-year postdoctoral fellow at Virginia Commonwealth University, in the release. “Having completed my Ph.D. in bone regeneration, I didn’t initially anticipate that my studies would lead me to an academic career in space health. TRISH stood out to me as an excellent place to complete my postdoctoral training, as it’s at the cutting edge of both space science and medicine and offers extensive mentorship and leadership opportunities.”

This 2023 cohort of fellows include:

  • Stephanie Dudzinski, M.D., Ph.D. Her research focuses on extending healthy life in space by characterizing radiation-induced pro-inflammatory response and enhancing wound repair and recovery with radiation- mitigating thrombin peptide. Her mentor is Steven Frank, M.D., of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
  • Adrien Robin, Ph.D., who is looking at the effect of deconditioning on-gravitational dose-response curves for cardiovascular and ocular variables in men and women and is being mentored by Ana Diaz Artiles, Ph.D., Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station.
  • Katherine Wozniak, Ph.D., who is defining gut microbial changes to space-like radiation to develop a radiation-resistant microbiome. Her mentor is Robert Britton, Ph.D., of Baylor College of Medicine.
In addition to supporting scientists through its fellowship program, TRISH is actively conducting research aboard commercial space flights — most recently with Axiom Space's Ax-2 mission..

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