Aerospace Medicine Center

The UTMB Aerospace Medicine Center supports pilots in their quest to fly with medical evaluations and flight physicals. Benefiting from the clinical expertise and resources of a large academic health center, the Center has the ability to work through difficult certification issues for pilots and coordinate subspecialty exams at one site providing "one stop shopping" for pilots. Our physicians are able to address complicated medical problems, loss of medical certificate, special issuance and provide special testing.

Drs. Vanderploeg, Castleberry, and Mathers are approved by Virgin Galactic, LLC, to perform spaceflight participant screening exams.


  • FAA medical examination
  • Special issuance examination
  • Disability assessment
  • Fitness-to-fly and SSRI evaluations
  • HIMS assessment
  • Spaceflight medical examination

Clinic Location

Primary Care Pavilion
UTMB Aerospace Medicine Center
400 Harborside Drive
Galveston, Texas 77555

Mailing Address

UTMB Aerospace Medicine Center
301 University Blvd.
Galveston, Texas 77555-1110


Office: 409.747.9176
Fax: 409.747.6129


The Aerospace Medicine Center is staffed by FAA-designated Senior Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) who have combined experience in both the NASA and corporate aviation medicine environments.

The staff of Senior Aviation Medical Examiners work as a team toward a common goal to assist the needs of pilots in providing aeromedical support. Committed to the aviation and space industry, we provide a full range of services to professional pilots and aviation corporate organizations in maintaining a safe and life-long investment in the world of aviation. With over 60 years of experience serving pilots from all sectors of flight, including NASA astronauts. We can meet your needs.

Charles H. Mathers, MD, MPH
Charles H. Mathers, MD, MPH 
Senior Aviation Medical Examiner
Assistant Professor, 
Preventive Medicine &
Community Health
Board Certified Internal Medicine 
& Aerospace Medicine
Formerly with Mayo Clinic
Former Chief Medical Resident
Private Pillot since 2004
James M. Vanderploeg, MD
James M. Vanderploeg, MD, MPH
Senior Aviation Medical Examiner
Associate Professor, 
Preventive Medicine & 
Community Health 
Board Certified in Occupational
Medicine & Aerospace Medicine
Former Chief of Medicine, NASA Johnson Space Center
Powers, William E_cropped
William E. Powers, MD, MS
Senior Aviation Medical Examiner
Assistant Professor, Preventive Medicine & Community Health
Board Certified Emergency Medicine & Aerospace Medicine
Former Wyle/NASA Flight Surgeon
Former Chief of the Medical Operations Branch, NASA Johnson Space Center
UTMB ~ The University of Texas Medical Branch
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