Fellowship in Harvard-MIT Bioastronautics Program, Fall 2008

Status Report From: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2007

Dear Colleague,

We are announcing the Harvard-MIT (HST-MEMP) Bioastronautics PhD Program, supported by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, for Fall 2008. It includes an important component of practical experience, typically at Johnson Space Center, and serves talented students with a science or engineering background who have strong interests in any aspect of Space Life Sciences.

Would you forward the attached announcement to any of your students you think would be suitable for the Program, or to any colleague who might like to suggest a candidate.

(The deadline for application is December 15, 2007.)

With my thanks,

Laurence R. Young, Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics, and Professor of Health Sciences and Technology

Please address any questions to Dr. Alan Natapoff, (617) 253-7757,


Bioastronautics--at the interface of biology, medicine, engineering, and space--challenges the state of the art in human protection and integrative physiology. An astronaut who travels for long periods far from Earth is affected by weightlessness, space radiation, and psychological stress, and is utterly dependent on artificial life support. Bones and muscles, cardiovascular regulation and sensory-motor control depend on gravity on Earth and require protection during space flight. The challenge of bioastronautics is to protect the astronaut during and following long flights, including provision of air, water, food, and telemedicine, while dealing with the scientific issues of gravitational biology.

This new program, which leads to a PhD in Medical Engineering and Medical Physics (MEMP) from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), trains the bioastronautics leaders of the 21st century. Funded by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), with support from NASA and its Johnson Space Center (JSC), this program combines the biomedical and engineering disciplines of MEMP with space life science, human factors specialization, and hands-on experience.


Admission to the program is via application to MEMP. Applications close on December 15 each year. For more information on the application process, see


In addition to the MEMP degree requirements, bioastronautics students take three space life sciences subjects, a bioastronautics elective, and attend specialized seminars conducted throughout the academic year. They spend a summer experiencing practical space activities in a one month course at JSC followed by an internship at NASA or an industrial laboratory. They also participate in an Aerospace Medicine clerkship at NASA. Thesis research is normally conducted under the supervision of one of the Harvard or MIT faculty who are Principal Investigators of NSBRI or NASA Life Sciences grants. The program typically provides fellowship funding for two academic years.

ADMISSIONS: CATHY MODICA E25-518 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02139 Program Director: Laurence R. Young lry@MIT.EDU 37-219 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02139 HST 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02139 TEL: 617.253.7470

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