TRISH Postdoctoral Fellowship is Advancing Space Health Research and Careers
TRISH has significantly aided in these ventures by expanding my research portfolio, allowing me to make new connections, and become a more well-rounded scientist.
Only through this proposal was I afforded the opportunity to study bone fractures in simulated microgravity (my mentor had no active projects in this area). With TRISH’s support, I’m now using a preclinical model system to now test how novel therapies (drugs, exercise, genetic engineering) can improve bone mass and healing during disuse that would have applications to spaceflight, aging, and extended bed rest. My initial findings have been promising, and I’m now expanding into looking at immunological and skeletal muscle effects on bone healing and noninvasive virtual biomechanics testing with new collaborators Drs. Rene Olivares -Navarrete (VCU), Hannah Dailey (Lehigh), and Megan Killian (UMich). This expansion of my initial research interests will allow me to carve out a niche for my own lab, allow me to also investigate additional knowledge gaps in the space health field and stay competitive for future solicitations.
This fellowship isn’t just about the research and deliverables, TRISH is also heavily invested in the professional development of its postdoctoral research fellows. As a TRISH postdoc, I’ve been a part of monthly calls with TRISH/Baylor College of Medicine staff in the Academy of Bioastronautics (AoB) and annual NASA Investigator Workshop Series (IWS) meetings. These AoB meetings have given me opportunities for additional networking and professional development. Through these meetings, I’ve met new potential collaborators in the musculoskeletal space such as Dr. Jeffrey Willey (Wake Forest University), learned about resources available to me (NASA Gene Lab), improved science communication, built an effective CV and learned how to apply for research positions across the career spectrum. I also can’t wait to finally meet my fellow postdocs at the annual IWS meeting in Galveston this upcoming year (our first in-person meeting since I’ve become a TRISH fellow). Many previous TRISH researchers have said that although it won’t guarantee an independent science position, having funding from TRISH/NASA on your CV and the words space health will definitely get your application some “extra-attention”.
In closing, I highly recommend applying for the TRISH postdoctoral fellowship and the opportunities it will afford any emerging independent scientist. Whether your long-term career plans are in industry, government, nonprofit, or academia, TRISH will greatly expand your network and research skills into new, exciting avenues and connect you with experts in these respective professional areas for jobs and mentoring. The frontier of space and all its mysteries and challenges offer little respite for the human condition. Space health problems have only begun to be realized as we envision longer and further destinations from Earth. Only by engaging a diverse and emerging group of scientists, as TRISH is doing with its postdoctoral program, will we be able to overcome these limitations and challenges together. I’m happy to talk to anyone about TRISH, space health, and musculoskeletal research online @Evan Buettmann. There’s a lot of exciting space health research advances coming out from the BEST Lab (@BESTLABVCU; http://bestlabvcu.org/) and my colleague and fellow TRISH orbiteer Dr. Michael Friedman (@MAFriedmanVCU), so be sure to follow everyone online.
TRISH is currently seeking new postdoctoral fellows who are eager to solve the health challenges of human space flight. The deadline to apply is Jan. 26, 2023.