Texas State partners with TRISH to increase diversity, representation in space health research

Research & Innovation

Jayme Blaschke | June 24, 2022

astronaut in space
<i>(Photo credit: NASA)</i>

The Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine in consortium with Caltech and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have partnered with Texas State University in support of the LBJ Space Health Inclusion Partnership (SHIP) Project.

The $300,000 partnership is part of TRISH’s Diversity Partnership Solicitation Program. The program is an important aspect of TRISH’s ongoing commitment to increasing engagement from underrepresented groups in the field of space health research.

LBJ SHIP will design and implement a comprehensive development program grounded in Texas State’s existing knowledge, expertise and role as a NASA partner. The program is expected to solidify an infrastructure necessary to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive space health community that is more representative of the general population. It aims to enhance existing skills and capabilities of underrepresented and underserved post-docs and early career (UUPEC) research professionals through their participation in a culturally responsive suite of engagement and development opportunities. LBJ SHIP is expected to attract, engage and train UUPEC research professionals in ways that support them in connecting and translating their work, and prepare them for career work on human physical health or performance during space exploration. 

kristina collins headshot
Kristina Collins, associate director of the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research at Texas State

Kristina Collins, associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and associate director of the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research at Texas State, will serve as principal investigator on the project. Leslie Huling, professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and Deepik Sangam, grant specialist with the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research, will serve as a co-PIs.

Empowered by NASA’s Human Research Program, TRISH is a virtual institute that finds and funds disruptive and innovative science and medical technologies to improve astronaut health and reduce performance risks that space explorers face. To understand and overcome the barriers faced by communities that have not engaged with the space program, TRISH commissioned a survey last fall of professionals interested in pursuing space health research and identified gaps and opportunities for improvement. This new funding initiative was created as one method to increase the institute’s reach and integrate new perspectives into its work.

For more information on TRISH, visit bcm.edu/spacehealth or follow the institute on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @BCMSpaceHealth.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922