CONTACT: JENNIFER CRONIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-9917; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: Nov. 3, 1999
UI surgeon serves on national space medicine committee
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Carol Scott-Conner, M.D., University
of Iowa professor and head of surgery, has been selected to serve on a national
committee charged with "Creating a Vision for Space Medicine During Travel
Beyond Earth Orbit."
Scott-Conners term on the committee, which is
under the direction of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine,
runs through Sept. 30, 2001.
The committees goal is to help the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as it considers how to provide
the highest quality medical care during future space travel beyond the orbit
of the Earth, such as when establishing a colony on the moon or during space
flight to Mars.
Space is one of the most extreme environments that
humans have ever entered. The current NASA medical care approach has been
adequate for short-duration flights. However, with prolonged human presence
in space come new challenges. There is increased potential for acute, sub-acute
and chronic physical and mental medical conditions.
Over the next two years, Scott-Conner and other committee
members will evaluate the current NASA medical-care system, recommend infrastructure
NASA will need to develop to support long-duration missions and explore opportunities
to assist NASA in acquiring clinical collaborative expertise to support the
The committee is composed of 15 leading clinicians,
a psychologist, an ethicist and a physician astronaut. The members met for
the first time in late October. Scott-Conner said she was delighted to be
asked to serve on the committee because of her long-standing, personal interest
in space exploration.
"My father, Dr. Charles W. Hoffman, was a physicist
and an early member of the American Rocket Society, so I grew up with talk
of rockets and space flight at the dinner table," Scott-Conner said.
"I vividly remember going out with him into the backyard to watch first
Sputnik and then the early Explorer satellites go overhead."
Scott-Conner added, "From the professional standpoint,
I am extremely interested in problems of access to care for the severely injured."
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership
between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the
patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.