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NIH and NASA Activities
Updated July 28, 2016
The NIH and NASA have a strong history of collaboration and share many interests in the life and health sciences. As research opportunities emerge, the NIH and NASA continue to explore new ways to develop partnerships that serve shared scientific interests.
NIAMS is hosting this page about NIH activities with NASA because of the Institute Director’s role as the NIH Liaison to NASA and the Institute’s involvement in early efforts to provide NIH extramural researchers with access to National Laboratory resources on the International Space Station (ISS).
NIH grantees and the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory
Dr. Divieti Pajevic (c) and colleagues
prepare osteocyte cultures to go to
the International Space Station.
- Scientists Make No Bones About First Study of Osteocyte Cultures on Space Station — Dr. Paola Divieti Pajevic (courtesy of NASA, April 10, 2015)
- Health Research off the Earth, For the Earth (courtesy of NASA, April 17, 2015)
Research With Space Explorers May One Day Heal Earth’s Warriors — Dr. Kang Ting (courtesy of NASA, February 17, 2015)
- T-Cell Activation in Aging — Dr. Millie Hughes-Fulford (courtesy of NASA, April 18, 2014)
- T-Cell Activation in Aging—Studying Immune Function in Microgravity video (courtesy of the National Institute on Aging, January 16, 2015)
- Gravitational Regulation of Osteoblast Genomics and Metabolism — Dr. Bruce Hammer (courtesy of NASA, October 19, 2011)
- NIBIB-funded space experiment on bone health successfully launched into orbit (courtesy of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, July 18, 2016)
Future NIH-funded biomedical research on the ISS
The 2005 NASA Authorization Act designated the U.S. segment of the ISS as a National Laboratory to increase the use of ISS resources by Federal entities in addition to NASA and by the private sector. Anyone who is interested in proposing research for the ISS National Lab should carefully review the page on How to Get New Research Onto ISS and related pages for information about opportunities and facilities.
Extramural investigators with ideas for ISS National Laboratory studies that are related directly to the NIH mission are eligible to apply for grant support through NIH’s Funding Opportunity Announcements for unsolicited or investigator-initiated applications.
- Potential applicants also are encouraged to look at ISS-specific funding opportunities from NASA, as listed on National Lab Research Opportunities and Funding and Information for Prospective Researchers.
- See information about NASA support for projects that directly address the health-related challenges that men and women experience while in space.
Other NIH-NASA Interactions
- NASA Astronaut, NIH Officials Discuss Medical Research Being Done on Space Station (NASA Press Release, June 10, 2014)
- Astronaut Hopkins Recounts 6 Months in Space (NIH Record, July 18, 2014)
- Summary of Proceedings: The Utilization of the International Space Station (ISS) as a National Laboratory, a product of the Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council (August 2013)
Milestones and key communications leading to the use of the ISS National Lab by NIH-funded investigators (Historic)
- Biomedical Research on the International Space Station (BioMed-ISS) funding opportunity announcement PAR-09-12 (closed October 1, 2011)
- Press release — Biomedical Researchers Invited to Design Experiments for the International Space Station (April 8, 2009)
- Press release — NIH Awards Grants to Support Biomedical Research in Space (September 1, 2010)
- NIH and NASA collaborate on International Space Station video (September 2010)
- A statement from the NIAMS Director to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Science and Space about The Case for Space: Examining the Value (October 21, 2009)
- Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Space-Related Health Research — signed September 12, 2007
- Press release — The National Institutes of Health and NASA Partner for Health Research in Space (September 12, 2007)
- NIH, NASA Partner for Health Research in Space (NIH Record, October 19, 2007)
- NIH/NASA Meeting on Space-Related Health Research (December 8, 2006)
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), NIH Director
Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni,NASA Administrator Dr. Michael D.
Griffin, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and NIAMS
Director Dr. Stephen I. Katz share a laugh before the
September 12, 2007, signing ceremony.