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    Morehouse School of Medicine Hosts NASA Astronaut Dr. Robert Satcher

    Morehouse School of Medicine Hosts NASA Astronaut Dr. Robert Satcher

    NASA astronaut Robert L. Satcher, Ph.D., M.D., will visit the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) campus April 28, 2010.

    Satcher will give a lecture about his STS 129 mission at 2 p.m. in the Louis W. Sullivan National Center for Primary Care Auditorium of MSM, 720 Westview Dr. SW, Atlanta, GA 30310. A reception will follow the lecture and special presentation. The event is free and open to the public.

    Satcher was selected by NASA in May 2004. In February 2006 he completed Astronaut Candidate Training that included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training. Satcher completed his first flight on STS-129 in November 2009 and has logged over 259 hours in space, including 12 hours and 19 minutes in 2 EVAs.

    “We celebrate and honor Dr. Robert Satcher Jr.’s remarkable academic accomplishments; his brave and amazing extravehicular feats in space; and his immaculate skills as surgeon and healer,” said Marlene MacLeish, Ed.D., MSM professor of Medical Education and member of the International Academy of Astronautics. “But, most of all, we are inspired by his grace and willingness to work with teachers and communities to educate the next generation of science students − to inspire them to dream ‘big;’ and to go where there is ‘no path.’”

    MSM and NASA have sustained a 15-year partnership to promote excellence in research and education through the MSM-NASA Space Medicine and Life Sciences Research Center (1995-2006) and the Neurolab-National Space Biomedical Research Institute Educational Outreach Program or NSBRI (1995-2010).

    The Space Medicine and Life Sciences Research Center began in 1993, when MSM received its first grants for space research. In 1995, the Center was formed to study how the body responds to the gravitational force of space. Funded by NASA, the center conducted research on muscle, bone, the brain and the cardiovascular system to learn how the body adapts to microgravity. The Center has published 78 peer-reviewed journal articles including research using Dahl salt-sensitive rats to characterize the effect of salt sensitivity on the vitamin D endocrine system; counter measures to hypotension; the role of oxidative stress in salt-induced hypertension; circadian organization of the mammals; cardiovascular alterations during bed rest; retinal cells in the NASA bioreactor; skeletal tissue development in the NASA bioreactor; and oxidative stress. MSM researchers also characterized 3-dimentional vascular cells that were cultured in the rotating bioreactor.The NSBRI Educational Outreach Program has created a body of space education peer-reviewed articles; established innovative public-private partnerships to create a film archive, television documentaries, and two National Public Radio mini-series. The series looks at new frontiers in space research: the ways scientists are linking space research and biomedical research; the discoveries that are being made in areas of telemedicine, bone loss, cardiovascular disease and muscle atrophy; and how these conditions affect astronauts on extended space missions. Also, the program has sustained a 12-year collaboration with MSM’s Neuroscience Institute to conduct a K-12 Teacher Institute dedicated to the professional development of science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers and to conduct the Undergraduate Summer Research Program, which enrolls students in NI laboratories and sponsors medical students to the Harvard University Medical School’s Sleep, Circadian and Respiratory Summer Research Training Program.

    During the last five years, the MSM-NSBRI Educational Outreach Program has established an international reputation in space life sciences educational outreach through the International Astronautical Academy in Paris, France. MSM international outreach activities, including lectures and workshops have been conducted in Africa, Spain, Italy, Canada, China, Scotland, Korea, and France. In 2009, a team of MSM researchers chaired sessions and made presentations at the International Academy of Astronautics Regional Conference in Abuja, Nigeria.

    MacLeish, the program director, was inducted in to the Academy in 2007 in recognition of MSM’s worldwide contributions to space life sciences educational outreach. She will chair the Academy’s 2010 International Study Section on Space Life Sciences Education and the Congress’s Space Life Sciences Education Session in Prague, September 2010.

    MSM’s educational partnership with NASA, the nation’s primary space explorer, has garnered approximately $20 million in the last decade.

    About Morehouse School of Medicine
    Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) recruits and trains minority and other students as physicians, biomedical scientists and public health professionals committed to improving the health and well-being of communities. MSM is a member of the largest consortium of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the world — the Atlanta University Center (AUC). For more information about Morehouse School of Medicine, visit us online at