New Space Station health studies funded by the CSA

Canadian Space Agency Funds Health Technologies for Deep-Space Exploration. Credit: Canadian Space Agency.

The Canadian Space Agency has funded eight new health studies to be conducted on the International Space Station.

The health studies serve the dual purpose of helping mitigate health risks for astronauts in space, along with improving our knowledge of human physiology for terrestrial benefits. The total value of the contracts is just over $1 million.

The health studies use one of three terrestrial research approaches:

  • Using databases or existing samples from previous space studies.
  • Using non-human organisms such as animals or cells as models for human biology.
  • Using space-like conditions to test human subjects.

The funded health studies

In the using databases or existing samples from previous space studies approach:

  • Dr. Frédéric Pitre, Université de Montréal – Analyzing Mars500 crew microbiomes using improved metagenomics. ($70k/1 yr)
  • Dr. Richard Hughson, University of Waterloo – Mining data from previous CSA cardiovascular studies BP Reg and Vascular to test new hypotheses about astronauts’ cardiovascular systems. ($70k/1 yr)

In the using non-human organisms such as animals or cells as models for human biology approach:

  • Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal, Mount Saint Vincent University – Understanding bone loss with zebrafish larvae in a simulated microgravity environment. ($150k/2 yr)
  • Dr. Odette Laneuville, University of Ottawa – Understanding shoulder overuse and preventing injuries in microgravity with mudskipper fish. ($150k/2 yr)
  • Dr. Svetlana V. Komarova, McGill University – Studying bone loss associated with skeletal muscle changes and fluid shift in astronauts. ($150k/2 yr)
  • Dr. Yeni Yucel, Unity Health Toronto – Using a research model to study space-related vision changes experienced by some astronauts. ($150k/2 yr)

In the using space-like conditions to test human subjects approach:

  • Dr. Laurence Harris, York University – Dr. Laurence Harris, York University – Self-motion under gravity: Changes to perception systems in human subjects on Earth subjected to varying levels of gravity. ($197k/2 yr)
  • Dr. Andrew Philip Blaber, Simon Fraser University – Testing the use of artificial gravity as a countermeasure against common space-related disturbances of cardiovascular and cerebral responses. ($99k/2 yr)

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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