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Astronaut Leroy Chiao named chair of NSBRI User Panel
6/6/2006
Dr. Leroy Chiao, a veteran of four space flights including service as the commander and NASA science officer of Expedition 10 aboard the International Space Station (ISS), has been named chair of the User Panel for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI).

The NSBRI, funded by NASA, is a consortium of institutions studying the health risks related to long-duration space flight. The Institute's User Panel is an advisory board comprised of former and current astronauts and flight surgeons that ensures NSBRI's research program is focused on astronaut health and safety.

"As an experienced astronaut of three shuttle flights and one long-duration ISS mission, Dr. Chiao understands the opportunities for NSBRI science and technology to meet the needs of astronauts and flight surgeons," said Dr. Jeffrey P. Sutton, NSBRI director. "We welcome him as chair of the User Panel."

In preparation for lunar and Mars exploration, Chiao and the User Panel will help align NSBRI's science and technology projects with the needs of astronauts on long missions.

Chiao recently left NASA following a 15-year career with the agency. In August, he will begin an appointment as the first Raborn Distinguished Chair Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Louisiana State University. Selected by NASA in 1990, Chiao flew as a mission specialist on three space shuttle flights - STS-65 (1994), STS-72 (1996) and STS-92 (2000). In 2005, he was the commander and NASA science officer on International Space Station Expedition 10. He also served as chief of the Astronaut Office Extra-Vehicular Activity Branch. Prior to joining NASA, he worked as a research engineer at Hexcel Corporation and at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Chiao graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from the University of California (UC), Berkeley. He received his master's and doctorate degrees from UC, Santa Barbara, and completed postdoctoral research in the Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering. He has published 17 papers and articles in scientific journals; his most recent was submitted from space. The article, "Ocular Examination for Trauma: Clinical Ultrasound Aboard the International Space Station," was published in the journal Trauma in 2005.

Chiao is a Fellow of the Explorers Club and an active member of the Association of Space Explorers. He was the recipient of the Asian Chamber of Commerce Public Service Award in 2006, and the Asian Pacific American Heritage Association Public Service in Science and Technology award in 2005. He earned the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, four NASA Space Flight Medals, two Exceptional Service Awards, four NASA Individual Achievement Awards, two NASA Group Achievement awards and the NASA Going the Extra Mile award, among others during his tenure with the agency.

NSBRI's research program involves investigators at more than 70 institutions and government laboratories across the United States. Projects address space health concerns such as bone and muscle loss, cardiovascular changes, immunology, infection, balance problems, sleep disturbances, radiation exposure, nutrition, fitness, rehabilitation, remote-treatment medical technologies, and neurobehavioral and psychosocial factors.

 





Leroy Chiao, Ph.D.