Arnauld Nicogossian Retires After More Than 30 Years With NASA

Press Release From: NASA HQ
Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Administrator Sean O'Keefe has announced the retirement of Arnauld E. Nicogossian, M.D., effective Jan. 3, 2003. Dr. Nicogossian will join the School of Public Policy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., where he will head the Office of Medical Policy.

Since June 3, 2001, Dr. Nicogossian has been Senior Advisor to the NASA Administrator for agency-wide issues related to health care provisions and aerospace medicine.

"We at NASA will miss having access to Dr. Nicogossian's wealth of experience and leadership in space medicine on a day-to-day basis," said Administrator O'Keefe.

Nicogossian held increasingly responsible positions in NASA research and development areas for more than 30 years. He was named Associate Administrator for Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications in May 1996. In this capacity he managed the planning and conduct of international ground- and space-based experiments in life sciences, life-support technology, biotechnology, materials sciences, aerospace medicine, occupational health and commercial programs.

Nicogossian has contributed significantly to the NASA mission of ensuring crew health in human exploration missions. He established the Astronaut Longitudinal Health Study, designed to protect the health of future space travelers, and developed close interactions with the National Institutes of Health, resulting in research programs for Space Shuttle missions.

Nicogossian served as the lead physician for NASA's first international human space flight mission, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. He also planned for and implemented research activities for the Shuttle-MIR missions. Nicogossian was instrumental in transferring space technology for the benefit of health on Earth: he pioneered the application of remote- sensing and geographic information to the detection of vector-borne infectious diseases and the use of telemedicine for humanitarian help in international disaster relief.

In July 2000, Nicogossian was instrumental in the establishment of the NASA Office of the Chief Health and Medical Officer and served as its first director.

Since January 2001, Nicogossian has provided consultative services to NASA while serving as an assistant professor at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md., where he designed and continues to teach a course on the history of international health and its impact on policy and economics. He has also been a distinguished visiting scholar for the International Programs Office at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Nicogossian has continued his academic activities as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Mason University. He developed an International Medical Policy and Processes course for the School of Public Policy, reflecting public health issues in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. He is engaged in research in the areas of medicine of extreme environments, international public policy and homeland security.

A diplomate of the American Board of Preventive Medicine, Nicogossian is also a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine, American College of Physicians and Aerospace Medical Association. He is an author of 50 scientific articles, has contributed to six books, and is the editor of two major textbooks in space physiology and medicine.

Nicogossian has received numerous honors and awards including: NASA Distinguished Service Medal; NASA Contribution and Invention Award; Presidential Letter of Commendation for Community Services; S.P. Korolev Medal from the Russian Federation of Cosmonautics; W. Randolph Lovelace II Award from the American Astronautical Society; and the International Academy of Astronautics Life Sciences Book Award.

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