Wednesday, June 3, 2009

NASA selects four proposals to study radiation

NASA has selected four proposals for research to help understand space radiation's effects on humans living in space. NASA selected proposals from the New York University School of Medicine in New York, the University of Texas Medical Branch in Houston, Loma Linda University in California and Georgetown University in Washington. The universities will work with collaborating organizations around the country.

These institutions will become NASA Specialized Centers of Research. They will consist of teams of investigators who have complementary skills and work together to solve a closely focused set of research questions. The proposals support the space radiation program element within NASA's Human Research Program.

NASA is investing $28.4 million for research into carcinogenesis and central nervous system risks from spaceflight. Research from the peer-reviewed proposals during the five-year award period will pave the way for development of effective countermeasures for space travelers.

NASA's Human Research Program provides knowledge and technologies to improve health and performance during space exploration. The program also develops possible countermeasures for problems experienced during space travel. Goals include the successful completion of exploration missions and preservation of astronauts' health throughout their lives. The program quantifies crew health and performance risks during spaceflight and develops strategies that mission planners and system developers can use to monitor and mitigate these risks.

Winners are listed below:
  • Gregory Nelson, Loma Linda University, Charged Particle Radiation and Resultant Oxidative Stress Elicit Deleterious Functional Changes in the Central Nervous System
  • Mary Barcellos-Hoff, New York University School of Medicine, The contribution of non-targeted effects in HZE cancer risk
  • Robert Ullrich, University of Texas Medical Branch, NASA Specialized Center of Research on Radiation Carcinogenesis
  • Albert Fornace, Jr., Georgetown University, Space Radiation and Intestinal Tumorigenesis: Risk Assessment and Counter Measure Development