PMCH Seminar Series

Mar 16, 2012

Prior to the Shuttle program, all understanding of nutritional needs in space came from Skylab metabolic research. Because Shuttle flights were short, most less than 14 days, research focused on major nutritional issues: energy (calories), protein and amino acids, water and electrotypes, with some more general physiology studies that related to iron and calcium. Using stable isotope tracer studies and diet intake records, we found that astronauts typically did not consume adequate calories to meet energy expenditure. To monitor energy and nutrient intake status and provide feedback to the flight surgeon and the astronauts, the International Space Station (ISS) program implemented a weekly food frequency questionnaire and routine body mass measurements. Other Shuttle investigations found that protein turnover was higher during flight, suggesting there was increased protein degradation and probably concurrent increase in protein synthesis, and this occurred even in cases of adequate protein and caloric intake. These results may partially explain some of the loss of leg muscle mass. Fluid and electrolyte flight studies demonstrated that water intake, like energy intake, was lower than required. However, sodium intakes were elevated during flight and likely related to other concerns such as calcium turnover and other health-related issues. NASA is making efforts to have tasty foods with much lower salt levels to reduce sodium intake and to promote fluid intake on orbit. Red blood cell studies conducted on the Shuttle found decreased erythrogenesis and increased serum ferritin levels. Given that the diet is high in iron there may be iron storage health concerns, especially related to the role of iron in oxidative damage, complicated by the stress and radiation. The Shuttle nutrition research lead to new monitoring and research on ISS. These data will be valuable for future NASA and commercial crewed missions.


Helen W Lane 1, Barbara Rice  2, Scott M Smith  1
1NASA/Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX. 2Enterprise Advisory Services, Houston TX

Congratulations to the 20th Annual Forum on Aging Poster Session winners!!

Student Poster Award Winners
Neuroscience – Kara Barber & Claudia Marino
Basic Science – Danelo Cortez
Rehabilitation – Kay Kulkarni
Health Disparities – Jaqueline Contrera Avila & Mary Margaret King
Medical Effectiveness – Keli Perino
Clinical Trials & Implementation – Leyla Akhverdiyeva

Congratulations to the 20th Annual Forum on Aging Poster Session winners!!





To view all the photos from the event, click here:

Congratulations Naiomi Jamal!!

Jamal, Naiomi

Please join me in congratulating Naiomi Jamal on her 2016 President's Cabinet Award! She received this for her program focused on Parent Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention. This is a very prestigious award - Congratulations Naiomi!

Congratulations LJ Panas on your new job at Kansas Health Institute!!


Lawrence John Panas, Ph.D., Senior Analyst, joined KHI in 2016 after earning a doctorate degree in population health sciences and a master's degree in public Health from UTMB. His work at UTMB focused on community health improvement and also on public health systems and services. Prior to joining KHI, he was a graduate/research assistant at the UTMB. During that time, Lawrence was also involved in a wide range of work related to issues such as aging, disability, mortality, minority health and health disparities.

Congratulations to Zakkoyya Lewis on your new job at Beachbody, LLC.


Zakkoyya (Koyya) Lewis accepted a position at Beachbody, LLC as their Fitness Research Manager in their Fitness and Nutrition Results department. This position is the first of its kind. As the Fitness Research Manager, Koyya is responsible for standardizing the measurement protocols for test groups on new products sponsored by Beachbody. She is responsible for the collection and evaluation of all test group data. It is also her responsibility to ensure that claims on new fitness programs meet scientific standards. In addition to running test groups, Koyya works directly with UTMB alum Erin Glynn, PhD and Research & Development as well as Digital Productions. She works as a liaison between departments to identify ways to improve programs and motivate customers.  

Congratulations Dr. Arcari and Dr. Rudkin!! 

Christine M. Arcari, PhD, MPH

Rudkin, Laura

Please join me in congratulating SOM Year 2 student Lynda Chowdhury and Drs. Arcari and Rudkin on their 2016 President's Cabinet Award! They received this for their application titled Health Fair Kits To Go: Turning Service into Service Learning. This is another very prestigious award for our department - Congratulations Lynda, Dr. Arcari, and Dr. Rudkin!

Please join us in wishing Joseph Saenz, PhD a farewell as he embarks on a new adventure.


 Joseph Saenz Farwell Party_USC

 Joseph Saenz obtained his PhD and is going to be a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Southern California, Davis School of Gerontology, working with Dr. Eileen Crimmins and colleagues.

During his PhD stay at UTMB Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, and SCOA, he published several papers on aging among U.S. Hispanics and Mexicans. He consistently made presentations in local, national, and international professional meetings and conferences, winning several honors and awards.

At SCOA, he also coordinated the MHAS research work group.

We will miss him for his great scholarship, extraordinary citizenship, and personal disposition!

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