ISPP 2015

Career Opportunities in Pharmacy
Expedition 56 Interview with McGovern Medical School - September 27, 2018



you what does your body feel like in zero gravity what inspires you to become an astronaut what exercise do you do and the you sweat and space what do you know you work in microgravity so it works station this is Houston are you ready for the event Houston this is station I am ready for the event mcgovern medical school this is Mission Control Houston please call station for a voice check station this is McGovern Medical School how do you hear us McGovern Medical School I have you loud and clear so it's delightful Serena to see you again we hope you're enjoying your time on the space station we're incredibly proud of you and proud to have you as a distinguished alum of this wonderful Medical School so congratulations to you and drew on the successful capture of the Japanese HTV cargo vehicle just a few minutes ago thanks for speaking with us today reminds us all but especially for our women's students that the sky's the limit at mcgovern medical school so we expect a lively Q&A with you and are anxious to learn from you thanks again thanks Dean stall I am totally excited to be here and so excited to talk with you all today hi dr. Anya and Chancellor my name is Kelsey Montgomery and I'm a third year student and my question is can you talk about the importance of medicine in space and then how it relates to medicine on earth yeah Kelsey I think that's an it's that's a great question you know certainly people think about the medical changes that occur to the body when you're in space and and those are many and stuff there are things that we look at as we push on further towards the Moon and Mars for example your bones and your muscles are immediately unloaded there changes that occur in your brain even in your eyes we start to see some swelling of the optic disk in fact some changes in the retina even but more importantly a lot of folks on the ground want to know that you know why is the medicine you're doing in space important for medicine on earth why should I care about that and I think people should care because a lot of the experiments were doing up here could directly impact them on earth and I'll give you just a couple examples one example I did just about a month ago was research looking at endothelial cells and it turns out that endothelial cells up here in orbit really like to grow so on earth they're not as easy to culture they don't last for a very long period of time but up here endothelial cells feel like they're at home and so we actually did some studies we were to where we were testing chemo therapeutic agents on those endothelial cells with the hopes of perhaps attacking a tumors vascular supply one day another good example is looking at the protein amyloid amyloid as you know is a protein that's been implicated in Alzheimer's disease and in other chronic disease processes and again up here in microgravity the amyloid protein grows in 3d in a sense and so by growing in that 3d way it gives scientists and researchers a better ability to view that protein look at its shape and perhaps create new targets for novel therapies that's just a couple of the examples I could go on and on about this all day long but I do want folks to walk away with one message and that's a lot of the science we are doing up here definitely helps to better the lives of folks down on earth hi dr. onion chancellor my name is Ollie Norris I'm a first year medical student here at McGovern my question for you today is how exactly did you decide that you wanted to be an astronaut where exactly were you in your career education and what sparked your interest so I got to be honest I wanted to be an astronaut since I was little little probably eight years old I remember watching Shuttle missions and as a child and you know my parents my sisters everybody had always encouraged me I wasn't quite sure what path that would take and as I entered medical school at McGovern I began thinking about what residency I wanted to go into and and what I was going to do and I wasn't sure but during your fourth year you get the chance to do some away electives and some rotations and I discovered a rotation at Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas for aerospace medicine and so I was able to take advantage of that I really wasn't quite sure what I was walking into at the time but that month was absolutely amazing I learned about the changes that occur in the physiology of the human body not only in different environments like high-altitude environments or hyperbaric environments but also of course in space and that's what helped lead me to go into the residency that I chose which was a combination of internal medicine and aerospace medicine so I just kind of waited for those doors to open and they continued to open during my career to kind of point me in the way thank you hello dr. onion chancellor my name is Emily Burgess I'm a second year medical student and I was wondering if you could describe the process of becoming an astronaut yeah so it's I think some people think you become an astronaut and then maybe you fly just a couple years later and it's a lot of process and a lot of my colleagues can would agree with me but once you get chosen a star as an astronaut you're officially known as an astronaut candidate at first and you go through about a two to three year period of initial training and because we're in the era of space station we had training on space station systems on how to operate the robot arm and again we use that today to capture the htv7 vehicle we learn how to do spacewalks we train for spacewalks in the big neutral buoyancy laboratory which is our big pool and we even take Russian language lessons and so a lot of our time consists of that the first couple of years to sort of create that framework in that base for how to operate on station and then you wait your turn you wait your turn for a flight and one of those lucky days you get called into the chief's office and they say we've got a flight for you and you rejoice and then it's another two years or so of training to get ready for that mission specifically and during that time you're honing your skills again robot arm spacewalks I assess systems but also about some of the specific science that's going to be going up during your mission and a lot of times you don't even learn about some of that science until you're up here it's a long process it's it's very much worthwhile requires a lot of travel you are overseas a lot during the training period hi dr. Ionian Chancellor my name is Meier and I was wondering what it was like going into space for the first time you know you you try and gather as much information as you can from your fellow astronauts and say well what's launch like well how did you feel well how did you feel and everybody's different I can say that certainly during launch it was amazing we knew that when that rocket lit we were going somewhere real fast and but the ride was really smooth the part the part that was really jolting or the stage cut offs where you almost felt like you were thrown in your seat and then one kind of interesting medical thing that occurs right at main engine just kind of the main cut off of the rocket when you are in orbit and I had heard of some other astronauts that they feel the moment that those and one of those engines cut off they feel like they're hanging from the ceiling almost like spider-man and I thought well that's odd and sure enough when those engines finally cut off I felt like my world tilted by 45 degrees so my brain was trying to process where I was and that there were no more gravitational cues I felt like the control panel was further away I just felt like everything shifted it was very odd it wasn't scary at all it was just odd and that lasted about three to four hours and then slowly went away I Serena my name is kale my question is if seeing Earth from space gave you a new appreciation for how special our world is and with that in mind do you think we will ever find life on another world so I'll give you a very specific example for from today drew our commander up here he and I were in our cupola which is kind of like our window to the earth where we can look out and we were watching as htv7 approached and I've seen HTV a lot of times but always from the ground and always on a TV monitor to see it for real coming towards the space station to know that a cargo vehicle made in a different country is approaching the International Space Station and we're gonna capture it with an arm and then berth it was amazing to just know that that vehicle we that our society our world our planet has advanced that far technologically to where some people think that's an everyday occurrence up here that we just bring cargo vehicles in all the time and it's never normal it's it's always a very calculated and very complicated technologically but to watch that vehicle come in and know that we had a plan and that there were critical supplies on board and that those supplies were sent for us and for the science on station that to me was absolutely amazing don't get me wrong I love looking at earth but I love looking at what we're able to do in low Earth orbit hi Serena my name is Sally one of the psychiatrists in here and my question is is there any spatial thing has pronounced you to keep the your mental well-being in space yeah absolutely so you know you find out it's what I term what's important to you and what's not important to you up here honestly one of our biggest behavioral I'd say assets that we have up here is our exercise equipment which I plan on talking about a little later when when those when those pieces of equipment go down we try and fix them as fast as we can because that's important to us we watch the news the nightly news every evening now we kind of get it a day later than everybody else but we like to keep in touch with what's going on down there on earth we'd like to keep in touch with their families so we have weekly video conferences with our families we have voice-over-internet phone so I can call pretty much any cell phone on the planet at any time it's small things like that HTV arriving we've got we know and we are working hard to open that hatch tonight because we've got goodies waiting in there for us foods that we haven't had maybe in a few months and that we're really looking forward to it so those are just some small things but what we found is that when you eliminate even the small things they make a huge impact psychologically thank you hello dr. onen Chancellor I'm Terry Koehler and microbiology here my question is what are the major concerns about the health effects of your time in space yeah so you know one of the biggest things people look at certainly is radiation since we're in low-earth orbit and we have a very well shielded vehicle and we're still protected by the Earth's atmosphere and magnetic shield it's radiation here isn't as much of a concern as it would be further out into deep space but the moment we get up into microgravity our bones and our muscles were completely unloaded so unless we actively work to prevent that and we have countermeasures like exercise you'd see your muscles atrophy you'd see in a sense a disuse osteoporosis sit in set in and it's the same thing that we see in the elderly or people who are bedridden for long periods of time in the hospital that disuse osteoporosis we know there are changes in the bony architecture and so that's two of the biggest things the other thing that we're doing a big experiment on right now it's called fluid shifts and that's to look at how this flew once we get into space we had this massive fluid shift from the feet up into the head and could those actually be changes be causing changes within the internal structure of the eye I mentioned some swelling in the optic disk even some changes in the choroid in the retina and so these are things we are studying up here right now since you're a microbiology one thing I will note is that just this week and last week we are doing surface sampling swabs and doing direct DNA sequencing here on the ISS to actually identify those microbes and then this next week we are actually going to be looking for mutations in the DNA itself to see if those bacteria are actually themselves being impacted by the microgravity environment whether it's just microgravity itself or radiation or another factor Thank You Serena hi this is Mike van Gogh from cardiology if the ground track is correct you should be coming up the coast of West Africa now so take a look out there make sure there's no hurricanes coming our way but my question is to follow up a little bit to what just preceded us and has to do with countermeasures so how much exercise are you doing each day and how much of it for example is on the a red or is aerobic and are you specifically using any pharmacological countermeasures dr. Bongo it's really good to hear your voice so great question we exercise about two and a half hours a day up here every day it is hard time lined into our schedule it's about an hour and a half on a red which is our advanced resistive exercise device and that is our weight lifting device and it's kind of think of it as like a Bowflex per station it's um we can do squats bench press deadlifts you name it but we do that pretty much six to seven days a week and then we spend another hour every day doing aerobic exercise whether it's on our treadmill where we wear a special harness and that basically provides loading or gravity to pull us down or we work out on an exercise bike so we take it's a good chunk of every day's timeline for all six of us up here onboard the International Space Station to get all of our exercise in but we've seen by studies we've looked at the research we know that this is imperative and we know that for even longer missions heading out towards Mars it's going to be even more important now we're lucky up here on station station is big it is the size of a five bedroom house so we can have a massive weightlifting machine we can have a big treadmill how do we how do we accommodate that on a smaller vehicle or you know maybe we won't have a bigger habitat until we get to where we're going to so those are some of the challenges that a lot of our engineers are dealing with right now specifically looking at pharmaceuticals there is nothing standard that we use we take a daily multivitamin but we get most of our nutrition from the food but we don't take any specific pharmaceutical countermeasures like a bisphosphonate for example to counter the bone loss thanks hi Serena how's it going my name is Erin Poli ak I'm a third year medical student I just want to quickly say you and I both went to GW is undergrads and then we came to this medical school so I feel a type of bond go go fog about him so question what type of a biomedical research are you participating in I know you already spoke before about it maybe a little more yeah absolutely in go GW there are so many biological experiments going on up here right now certainly the direct DNA sequencing that I mentioned we are also doing RNA sequencing which is not an easy task but we think we found a way to do it up here onboard the ISS which really revolutionizes how we perform occupational health up here other sorts of medical experiments that we're doing so we've got a special microgravity science glovebox that we do a lot of experiments in cell culture media exchange we've also done some reproductive studies where we've looked at bovine sperm motility as well but when you look at biotech you know one of the things I always like to bring up is kind of what we call our region eco system what does that mean well every day anything that any astronaut or cosmonaut urinates out we turn into water and that is important because that is something we are going to carry forward from here to live on the moon or live on Mars you have to be able to have that capability and so it's every everyday the way we generate oxygen the way we recycle urine and turn it into water the way we capture any sort of condensate from the air itself any time I breathe out that condensate that humidity is captured and reclaimed by the system and utilized and you kind of think of how wasteful we are on the earth well up here we can't be wasteful with one thing we are always looking at our water balance always looking at what we need to put in the system what we need to take back out and we've gotten pretty good at it thank you very much hello dr. Chancellor my name is Jeff McBride a fourth-year medical student and I'm excited to be a part of the aerospace medicine clerkship at NASA next month my questions for you are what opportunities do you see for civilian physicians to go in space and how would you advise medical students like myself to prepare for a career in this great question so this this field is burgeoning especially with commercial space and you've seen how NASA has already made its commercial crew assignments we have several vehicles coming down the pike and all those vehicles all those programs are going to be utilizing physicians or aerospace medicine specialists in a way and so what I tell folks like yourself is to take advantage certainly of clerkships and that's exactly what you're doing which is great conferences any sort of educational meetings you can get your hands on to learn about aerospace medicine it's not a widely recognized field there's only a few institutions in the United States that have this luckily by being in Houston Texas you're kind of right in the heartland certainly with all the research that's going on Baylor College of Medicine as well you're just in this lovely area where aerospace medicine means something to people and you're right next to NASA so the opportunity to go down there and get experience or just talk with the people who work in operational space medicine or in research space medicine every day is amazing so I think honestly over the next five to ten years um there's gonna be certainly the best way to get into space right now he'll apply for the astronaut corps that's what I did over the next five to ten years you're gonna be seeing people taking rides just suborbital flight so not staying for a long period of time in low-earth orbit and I definitely see physicians on those flights coming up so get yourself involved with those groups of people and I'd be happy to talk with you after and let you know how to do that but you're already on the right track you're gonna love that clerkship Thank You Serena you were terrific and we can't wait to have you again when you're back on earth thank you so much it was really really great talking with you today I wish all of you the best of luck Medical School is the best time of your life especially at mcgovern enjoy every moment of it enjoy all the friends you make because those will be friends for our lifetime I'll see you guys later [Applause] station this is Houston ACR that concludes the event thank you to all participants from the govern Medical School Station we are now resuming operational audio communications

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