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UH News Features Dr. Simpson's Research with NASA

HHP faculty Dr. Richard Simpson was recently featured on UH news for his research on changes in human immune systems in space. The research study is being carried out in partnership with NASA and astronauts aboard the International Space Station to examine how spaceflight affects the immune system.

Dr. Richard Simpson

Below is an excerpt from the article:

“All of us have viruses that we’re already infected with, and our immune system does a very good job of controlling them,” said Rickie Simpson, principle investigator and assistant professor of exercise and immunology. “When astronauts are in space, those viruses reactivate a lot. What we don’t know is if altered immunity and viral reactivation pose a significant risk to the health of astronauts when they’re in space for a prolonged period of time.”

Simpson and his research team will collect blood, saliva and urine from two astronauts before, during and after an upcoming mission. They’ll be measuring natural killer cells, potent cells capable of killing even cancer cells, and monitoring their health for several months.

Read the entire article on the UH news site


The HHP department has a longstanding relationship with NASA and offers a graduate program in Human Space Exploration Sciences and a Doctoral Curriculum in Space Life Sciences.