Varsha Jain

ACF in O&G and Associate at Baylor College


Dr Varsha Jain has recently completed an NIHR academic clinical fellowship in
obstetrics and gynaecology and is currently training at ST4 level in London. She
utilized the academic portion of her fellowship to work alongside colleagues in
Houston to research into the physiological effects of spaceflight on female astronauts. She has had a long-standing interest in space medicine, which was sparked by her attendance at the UK Space Biomedicine Conference in 2004. She completed an intercalated BSc in Physiology at University College London and this started formal education into extreme environments medicine. Her medical school elective at NASA Johnson Space Center involved her researching balance recovery in short duration astronaut fliers upon return to Earth. After graduating from Imperial College medical school, she took time out from clinical training to complete a masters degree in space physiology and health at King’s College London. For her masters thesis project, she worked alongside the Exploration Medical Capability team at NASA JSC to investigate the efficiencies of the medical systems currently on board the ISS.

Dr Jain has also been an active member of the UK Space Biomedicine community, has co-led of the organization team for two UK Space Environments Conferences and recently completed a one-year placement as coordinator for the UK Space Life and Biomedical Sciences Association.

Talk summary:

Approximately 11% of all humans who have ever traveled into space have been
women. However, this demographic is changing. The latest astronaut selection
process in the US selected an equal number of male and female candidates to
continue human space exploration. Women are an integral part of human spaceflight and therefore understanding the challenges pertaining to their health is vital in ensuring successful long duration exploration class missions. This talk will provide an overview of female physiology in relation to spaceflight as well as some of the risks that need to be considered when making medical decisions for these astronauts.

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