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  • The Neurolab Mission

    The Brain in Space: A Teacher’s Guide with Activities for Neuroscience


    Spelman College

    The Human Body in Space Course
    The aim of The Human Body in Space Course is to give students an appreciation of the historic science challenges of space flight; knowledge of the space environment; understanding of the biological adaptations of the human body to the microgravity environment of space; and opportunities to explore and debate the cultural implication of human exploration of space for societies on Earth.

    Drawing from several disciplines, the course develops a framework for understanding the social impact of man’s historic journey to the moon; the biomedical challenges to be understood and overcome if humans are to effectively explore and develop space; the unique environment of space; and the cultural implications of long-term human space flight and habitation of the International Space Station.

    The historical perspective provides a basis for understanding the evolution of space life sciences and man’s quest to explore the universe. Chemistry , physics, and engineering provide appreciation for the extreme environments of space. Biology explores the physiological and behavioral adaptation to the space environment and readaptation to earth’s gravitational forces. Sociology gives insight into the dynamics of culture, gender, and interpersonal relationships of multinational crews that collaborate to fulfill some of the possibilities that a future in space holds for humans.

    The course will help create a national baccalaureate curriculum on weightlessness and the human body.

    Course Topics:
    The History of Space Science
    Marlene MacLeish, Ed.D.
    Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia

    The Space Environment
    James King, Ph.D.
    Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia

    Radiation Effects: DNA Damage and Repair
    Deborah Lyn, Ph.D.
    Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta Georgia

    Cellular Response to Spaceflight
    Gene McGinnis, Ph.D.
    Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia

    Weightlessness and the Human Body
    Brenda J. Klement, Ph.D.
    Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia

    The Cardiovascular System
    Pamela Gunter-Smith, Ph.D.
    Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia

    The Nervous System
    Peter MacLeish, Ph.D.
    Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia

    Neurovestibular Adaptations in Space
    Joseph Whittaker, Ph.D.
    Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia

    Bone Demineralization, Calcium Metabolism and Bone Loss in Space
    Myrtle Thierry-Palmer, Ph.D.
    Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia

    Sleep and Circadian Rhythms in Space
    Gianluca Tosini, Ph.D.
    Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia

    Living in Space
    Marlene MacLeish, Ed.D.
    Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia


    Harvard Medical School Teacher Institute

    Morehouse School of Medicine, in partnership with the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Teacher Institute, has created two problem-based case studies on sleep and circadian rhythms "What's up with Jose?" and neurovestibular function "Cecilia's Story" for elementary and secondary school teachers and students. Morehouse School of Medicine is creating video programs to accompany these cases.

    Problem-based instruction uses real-world problems as the context for investigating curricular content. These case give students enough information to proceed with investigations, but  require them to undertake further investigation to solve the problem at hand. Problem–based science sharpens students’ reasoning skills, encourages team work and rewards self-directed inquiry.

    Curriculum Development
    Program Director: Joan Y. Reede, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.

    Curriculum Development Staff
    K-12 Program Director: Sandra T. Sims, MTPW
    Research Consultant: Kenneth Wright, Ph.D., M.A.,
    Harvard Graduate School of Education

    Sleep and Circadian Rhythms Case Study - Advisory Committee
    Charles A. Czeisler, M.D., Harvard Medical School
    Candace Dunlap, M.Ed., Sci. Teacher, Malden High Sch.
    Winifred Eke, M.Ed., Sci. Teacher Health Careers Acad.
    Edwin Furshpan, Ph.D., Prof. of Neurobiology, HMS
    Breinda Malden, M.S., Sci. Teacher, MLK Middle Sch.
    David Potter, Ph.D., Prof. of Neurobiology, HMS
    Robert Rochlin, M.S., Sci. Teacher, English High Sch.
    Margaret Yu, Ed.D., Sci. Teacher, Boston Latin Sch.

    Neurovestibular System Case Study - Advisory Committee
    Edwin Furshpan, Ph.D., Prof. of Neurobiology, HMS
    David Potter, Ph.D., Prof. of Neurobiology, HMS
    Charles Oman, Ph.D., Dir. of MIT Man-Veh. Lab.
    Conrad Wall, Ph.D., Dir. of Jenks Vest. Lab., Mass Eye & Ear Hospital
    Winifred Eke, M.Ed., Sci. Teacher Health Careers Acad.
    Candace Dunlap, M.Ed., Sci. Teacher, Malden High Sch.
    Breinda Malden, M.S., Sci. Teacher, MLK Middle Sch.
    Robert Rochlin, M.S., Sci. Teacher, English High Sch.
    Margaret Yu, Ed.D., Sci. Teacher, Boston Latin Sch.


    MSM Neuroscience Institute  and Space Medicine Life Sciences Research Center

    College Summer Research Program
    The NSBRI Summer Research program’s mission is to encourage women and minority students to pursue careers in science. This program is conducted in collaboration with the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) Neuroscience Institute and the Space Medicine Life Sciences Research Center. Students are selected from a national applicant pool to spend a research- intensive summer in the laboratories of MSM scientists.

    The Summer Program:

    • provides students with hands-on research experience
    • provides mentors
    • supports students in developing research skills and in utilizing specific laboratory techniques
    • provides exposure to the basic research concepts
    • conducts science writing and presentation classes
    • fosters students understanding and familiarity with scientific literature

    The NSBRI Summer Internship Program collaborates with the MSM-Neuroscience Institute to bring outstanding NASA scientists to participate in a summer lectureship series.

    Space Life Sciences Archives
    The Morehouse School of Medicine-NSBRI Space Life Science Archives contain multimedia educational materials on the human exploration of space, NSBRI-related science and technological developments, select space life sciences materials, including Neurolab Education Outreach materials and a compendium of internet references on NSBRI-related science. The film archives contain footage and multimedia resources associated with the NSBRI; the Neurolab space shuttle mission; a teacher- training workshop on the brain in space with Atlanta Public School teachers, NASA and MSM scientists; student presentations from the summer program; and select NASA films.

    The NSBRI Space Life Science Archives will be made available to all other NSBRI sites through the World Wide Web.