Doctoral Curriculum in Space Life Sciences

The space life sciences curriculum is a unique program offered by HHP in partnership with NASA and is designed for students aspiring to develop research skills and content knowledge in the space life sciences. The program is designed to prepare doctoral students seeking careers in supporting the space program through clinical and research expertise in federal, state, and private space agencies, industry, universities, and related occupational health settings. Graduates with training in space life sciences will get specialized and focused training that will position them to become future leaders in this field.

The space life sciences curriculum is a core group of courses that focuses on the understanding of biological, physiological and psychological processes and adaptation to the microgravity environment of space and developing new or improved methods for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of pathological processes in humans living and working in the space environment.

The emphasis is on basic, operational and translational research. Including both basic science and operational research is essential for translating basic science knowledge to the development of new therapeutic and preventive approaches for human adaptation to the space environment and the next major frontier of human expansion.

Instructors in this program will be scientists from NASA's Human Research Program Space Life Sciences group.  Students enrolled in doctoral programs at the University of Houston campus are eligible to enter this track with approval from their doctoral advisor.

Some of the goals of this program are:

  • To provide students with the knowledge and skills to apply space life science theories and methods to the study of physiological, biological and psychological responses to microgravity and extraterrestrial environments and the development of appropriate operational countermeasures to maintain health and well-being.
  • To develop skills required to conduct independent research in the space life sciences field.
  • To assist students in furthering their education through postdoctoral training and/or obtaining academic or professional positions after completion of their graduate education.