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NOSM University researcher receives grant from Canadian Space Agency to study the effects of space on the human body

Posted on August 4, 2022

Dr. David MacLean, NOSM University Professor, received $150,000 over two years from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to study the effects of space flight on the human body and gain insights into counteracting associated health risks.

The project, titled Investigating the role of a multi-targeted dietary supplement on attenuating radiation and microgravity-induced tissue damage, will study how the combined effects of radiation and microgravity interact and damage healthy tissue using a research model that simulates space flight. Dr. MacLean will deduce whether a dietary supplement can counteract the damaging effects of space travel and protect the body’s tissues. “The study will provide a clearer understanding of how the body is affected by space travel and begin exploring meaningful countermeasures,” says Dr. MacLean.

This study will provide the framework for future studies on human tissue and function in a multi-stressor environment. The models, tissues, and physiological systems being studied align directly with primary areas of concern set out by the CSA. These include musculoskeletal, metabolic, radiation, and microgravity which are all heavily investigated in this study.

“Findings from this project could translate to numerous earth-based applications and contribute to improving health care for Canadians,” says Dr. MacLean. Potential earth-based applications include cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment or situations where individuals must undergo long durations of immobilization, such as prescribed bed rest.

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NOSM University is Canada’s first independent medical university and one of the greatest education and physician workforce strategy success stories of Northern Ontario. More than just a medical university, it was purpose built to address the health needs of the region. While advocating for equitable access to care, the university contributes to the economic development of Northern Ontario. NOSM University relies on the commitment and expertise of the peoples of Northern Ontario to educate health-care professionals to practise in Indigenous, Francophone, rural, remote and underserved communities. With a focus on diversity, inclusion and advocacy, NOSM University is an award-winning, socially accountable organization renowned for its innovative model of distributed, community-engaged education and research. NOSM University connects researchers, learners, teams and their findings to research entities, provincial health teams, research institutes, academic health sciences centres and health-care organizations. The university strengthens research capacity in Northern Ontario, improving performance and measurable outcomes in health services, quality health care, health and biomedical research and knowledge translation.

For further information, please contact:

To learn more about the grant, please contact:
Canadian Space Agency
Media Relations Office
Telephone: 450-926-4370