Mini-Symposium Series

In November 2021, bioastronautics@hopkins began holding a series of mini-symposia, involving various topics related to human spacefilght. These events are hosted by the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering Office of Research and Translation, as well as Hopkins@Home. bioastronautics@hopkins is led by Dr. Mark Shelhamer, Professor of Otolaryngology at the School of Medicine.

Upcoming: Statistical Approaches to Spaceflight Data

March 16, 2022 | 2 p.m. EST

Register Here

Please join us March 16 at 2 p.m. for the next bioastronautics@hopkins Mini-Symposium. Speakers will include Dr. Robert Reynolds, current visiting data scientist at NASA’s Human Health and Performance Directorate, and Dr. Robert Ploutz-Snyder, Assistant Dean of Research and Scholarship, at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. Ploutz-Snyder directs the School of Nursing’s Applied Biostatistics Laboratory.

Dr. Robert Reynolds

Dr. Robert Reynolds, currently serves as the Visiting Data Scientist for NASA’s Human Health and Performance Directorate (HHPD) at Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. In this role he helps NASA apply data science and advanced analytics to manage the human systems risk of space flight. Outside of NASA, he studies the long-term morbidity and mortality of highly selected occupational cohorts, such as professional athletes (NBA and MLB) and astronauts (NASA, international partner astronauts, and Russian Cosmonauts). He is also an experienced analytics leader in the healthcare space, having led teams of biostasticians, epidemiologists, and data scientists in commercial and Medicaid health insurers.

Dr. Robert Ploutz-Snyder

Dr. Robert Ploutz-Snyder directs the University of Michigan School of Nursing’s Applied Biostatistics Laboratory, whose primary mission is to partner with other Nursing faculty in order to further advance the methodological & statistical rigor of our science, and increase our success-rate for external support.  He is a member and is among the first 100 professionally accredited statisticians in the American Statistical Association (Pstat®).  Prior to assuming his current role, he was a lead Biostatistician in NASA’s Human Research Program at the Johnson Space Center, where he collaborated on numerous grants aimed at better understanding and mitigating the negative effects of spaceflight on humans.  Prior to NASA, he was an Associate Professor of Medicine at the SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, with a highly successful track record of grant collaborations and scholarship.


Systems Medicine for Spaceflight – November 15, 2021

For audience questions and panel member responses, please click here.

Virtual Symposium on Human Spaceflight:
Kickoff of bioastronautics@hopkins – February 24, 2021


Virtual Symposium on Human Spaceflight


NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor

Bioastronautics@hopkins held a Virtual Symposium on Human Spaceflight, on Feb. 24, 2021.This was the first event for the special interest group led by Mark Shelhamer, JHU Professor of Otolaryngology and former Chief Scientist of the NASA Human Research Program.Keynote speakers included physician and NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, and N. Wayne Hale, Director of Human Spaceflight at Special Aerospace Services and the former Space Shuttle Program Manager at NASA. The symposium included researchers in the field from universities and institutions across the country. Below are some of the recorded presentations from the symposium.

Host: Mark Shelhamer, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Moderators: Mallika Sarma and Serena Tang, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Assistance was provided by JHU WSE’s Commercial and Government Program Office (Larry Nagahara, Peter Zeender, Linda McLean, Bruce Dennett, William Bagley)

 Bioastronautics Kickoff Event Schedule 

Video Presentations

Jason Kalirai, Space Exploration at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory – (No video)

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Opening Keynote – Wayne Hale, Special Aerospace Services; former Director of Space Shuttle Program at NASA
Erik Antonsen, Ending Siloes: The Need to Paint the Big Picture of Human System Risks in Human Spaceflight
Aenor Sawyer, The Health Sense Matrix for Space – (No video)

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Michael Schubert, Autonomous Rehab to Reduce Motion Sickness and Improve Balance – (No video)

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Mike Rosen, Team Physiological Dynamics and Communication Measurement Strategies for LDSE Competencies
Sharon Gerecht, 3D Human Vascular Models to Study Responses to Radiation and Hypoxia – (No video)

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Deok-Ho Kim – (No video)

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Serena Auñón-Chancellor – (No video)

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Human Spaceflight Special Interest Group


Photo courtesy of NASA

Johns Hopkins University is a major force in the area of spaceflight, with an emphasis on human health and performance, but connecting to all associated disciplines. The Human Spaceflight Special Interest Group will provide a unifying structure for activities in this field across the university by identifying and distributing funding and research opportunities, assisting with proposals, promoting cross disciplinary and integrated research, and assisting in student recruiting.


For information about the Human Spaceflight Special Interest Group, please contact:

Mark Shelhamer
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
(410) 614-5898


Funding Opportunities

    1. DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JULY 16: Interstellar Research Group Announces Scholarship Program for Rising College Undergraduates and Graduate Students.  – IRG Scholarship

The Sky is No Longer the Limit

Photo by Chris Hartlove. Story by Steve St. Angelo

It took a few extra trips around the sun, but Dorothy Coker has found her space in nursing.

Among a galaxy of reasons to choose among the five-star programs at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Dorothy Coker saw one tiny black hole: There was no program designed for students interested in space nursing—preparing to handle the health and safety issues that will undoubtedly arise or increase with wildly accelerating near- and deep-space travel.

5-4-3-2-1 …

Coker arrived for the MSN (Entry into Nursing) program on a mission. “I immediately went looking for faculty to partner with on building a new program,” she says. “I initially met Dr. [Vinciya] Pandian interviewing for the Research Honors Program, and she has been so receptive and supportive of the idea. I was also really lucky to find support and mentorship in Dr. [Mark] Shelhamer, who runs the Human Spaceflight Lab over at the School of Medicine.”

To read the full article in the Johns Hopkins Nursing magazine, click here.

JHU Professor to Create Center for Space Life Sciences

Photo courtesy of Mark Shelhamer

Johns Hopkins Associate Professor Mark Shelhamer, left, is working to create a Center for Space Life Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Shelhamer has spent much of his career studying the human body’s adaptations to space. Now he is trying to help NASA (and commercial entities) safely send humans into space and to Mars while mitigating some of the major risks to human health and performance.

To read the full article in the Johns Hopkins Magazine, click here.

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.