By: Melissa Kacena
The first question I often get asked about this project is how the IU School of MEdicine Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NASA and the Department of Defense started collaborating on bone healing in spaceflight. My answer is usually one word, “spark.”
It started in August 2013, with a chance meeting at a Department of Defense conference. During one of the conference breaks, I met Dr. Rasha Hammamieh, a U.S. Army researcher. We quickly realized our mutual interest and experience with bone healing and space flight.
Dr. Hammamieh was already working with NASA and wanted to expand her research to examine bone healing in spaceflight and apply her techniques to understand the changes in bone healing progression with the lack of weight bearing on the skeleton (think astronauts in space). I told her about my past work with NASA during my graduate studies and my current bone research, and thus the collaboration began.
As sometimes happens in life, this chance meeting sparked an exciting new research direction in our laboratory and we invite you to come along!