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Review of NASA’s Biomedical Research Program
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Washington, DC 20546-0001
OCT 15 1988
Reply to Attn of: UL
Dr. Claude R. Canizares
Space Studies Board, HA 584
National Academy of Sciences
2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418
Dear Dr. Canizares:
The Committee on Space Biology and Medicine recently completed a major report, A Strategy for Research in Space Biology and Medicine in the New Century, which reviewed the status of space life sciences research in all of the disciplines funded by NASA's life sciences program, and laid out a comprehensive strategy for research during the next decade. In that report, numerous biomedical research questions related to astronaut health and safety were identified as critical to NASA's long-duration flight program. I would like to request that the committee now undertake an assessment of NASA's current program in biomedical research in light of the recommendations of the Strategy report.
Specifically, we would ask that the Committee on Space Biology and Medicine (CDBM) undertake a review of NASA's entire biomedical research program, both intramural and extramural, and assess the degree to which the program meets research needs over the next ten years. The research priorities given in the recent CSBM report, A Strategy for Research in Space Biology and Medicine in the New Century, could be used as a point of departure when considering future needs and priorities. It would be helpful if the committee would examine the relationship between intramural and extramural biomedical research activities sponsored by the agency, and review the content and program organization of both. The roles of the NASA Specialized Centers of Research and Training and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, in the biomedical program, could also be examined. Such a review should cover all NASA biomedical research activities at NASA, including those currently conducted in conjunction with operational medical and aerospace medicine programs.
Some of the specific items which I would hope to see considered in the report are:
The balance of discipline areas emphasized in the current program.