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Space Health Institute grants nearly $4 million for studies on protecting the body from damage by reducing metabolism

Press Release From: Translational Research Institute for Space Health
Posted: Monday, September 20, 2021

The Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine grants nearly $4 million in awards to four outstanding researcher teams in response to its Biomedical Research Advances for Space Health (BRASH) 2101 solicitation. The space health institute sought creative never-before-tried ways to reduce potential damage from the environment through manipulation of human metabolism and the normal state-of-being at the cellular or whole organism level. 

As NASA’s Artemis missions return humans to the Moon, TRISH works towards countermeasures to address the human health and performance challenges that come with deep space exploration. Modifying the body’s metabolic and homeostatic processes could help reduce damage from space radiation or reduced gravity, while also minimizing food and medical supply needs for future long duration crewed missions. 

With TRISH funding, these researchers will immerse themselves in emerging scientific and biomedical advances, as well as disruptive technologies using space exploration as an analog for protecting human health here on Earth. 

“These outstanding awardees brought cutting-edge proposals to the table. Each project provides a unique opportunity to advance human health research on the bleeding edge of science fiction,” said TRISH Executive Director, Dorit Donoviel, Ph.D. “This creative research has the potential to protect all humans through advancing tissue transplantation or helping patients that have medical conditions such as heart or brain damage that could be aided by reducing cellular activity.”

The awardees will begin their TRISH-funded research in April 2022. 

BRASH 2101 Awardees: 

  • Clifton Callaway, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    • Cold-Sleep for Long Duration Spaceflight
  • Tammy Chang, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
    • The Effect of Isochoric Supercooling on Human Liver Metabolic Function
  • Allyson Hindle, Ph.D., University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    • Can Humans Hibernate at Warm Temperatures?
  • Christopher Porada, Ph.D., Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    • Using Human Organoids and Fossilized Remains from Extinct Hominins to Unlock the Secrets of Torpor/Hibernation

As a partner to the NASA Human Research Program, TRISH helps solve the health challenges to human deep space exploration. The Institute finds and funds disruptive, breakthrough research and technologies that can reduce risks to astronaut health and performance.

The Institute is funded through a cooperative agreement with NASA to Baylor College of Medicine and includes consortium partners the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Learn more about the Translational Research Institute for Space Health and sign up for the Institute’s monthly newsletter.


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