Investing in Space - Next Frontier of Healthcare
March 16, 2021
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Held virtually due to COVID-19
12:00-1:00 PM Session
"Investing in Space - Next Frontier of Healthcare"
Our 15th New York Health Forum will bring together key speakers, life sciences executives, and government officials to discuss advances in technology and new areas of drug development focused on space travel. The health and well-being of space crews
is the primary factor that limits the achievement of long-duration space missions. Therefore, human health is the key area of interest for space agencies around the world, as they plan the next steps in space exploration beyond low Earth orbit.
Which companies are developing new therapies for space exploration? Will the public sector’s rising interest in space investment designate it as the next major industry? Higher levels of private funding, advances in technology, increasing government funding,
and growing public sector’s interest are accelerating the development of new companies focused on space exploration.
Kimberly Ha, CEO & Founder, KKH Advisors, Editorial Board Member, World Asian Medical Journal (Moderator)
Cheryl A. Nickerson, PhD, Professor, Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics, The Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University
Mark Ott, MBA, PhD, Microbiology Laboratory Lead, Johnson Space Center, NASA
Ji Sun Park, PhD, Project Manager & Senior Scientist, Enzychem Lifesciences
Key Discussion Items:
Due to a lack of gravity, Space creates a unique environment to do various research. Space research allows us to utilize the information collected on space crew health and apply it to conditions on Earth. We now have an opportunity to make unique discoveries in all biological systems by using underlying mechanisms learned in space flight and translating them into a wide variety of applications on Earth.
Unlike the past, there is now a commercialization aspect in space—human space flight is not only the government’s business anymore. Not only NASA, but private organizations or billionaire investors are now developing human flight research programs. Thus, Space research has become a partnership between commercial and government groups.
Currently, Dr. Nickerson at Arizona State University is working on mitigating infectious disease through space research because space flight can alter the virulence (disease-causing potential) of a microbial pathogen. Also, working without gravity, such as transferring hazardous chemicals/biologicals, is a challenge but NASA has adapted new processes to conduct more and more experiments.
Enzychem Lifesciences has received a grant from NASA and is conducting a proof-of-concept study with Arizona State University to discover EC-18’s potential to serve as a novel health treatment for astronaut health. It could potentially function as a radiation countermeasure to protect astronauts from radiation and pathogen-induced tissue damage and inflammation, which are conditions often seen in space.