Space Medicine now a Collegiate Course

As the new space race continues to unfold, humans will have other needs when we get to the moon, and beyond.

Israel’s first “space medicine” collegiate course has just begun under the tutelage of Professor Sara Eyal of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s School of Pharmacy.

Professor Eyal is a clinical pharmacist who studies the effects of microgravity on human biology and will be lecturing in a semester-long course for 40 students from majors all over the university, including medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and biology.

Professor Eyal is the head of the university’s Space Lab, which conducts experiments in extraterrestrial conditions using a machine that simulates microgravity. Most recently, Space Lab studied whether an Israeli cancer drug could prove more effective in treating cancer patients in space-like conditions.

Samples were then sent to the ISS for further experimentation, and they have recently arrived back on Earth and are being studied as we speak.

Professor Sara Eyal

We know, for example, that prolonged stays in microgravity are associated with accelerated processes of aging and of diseases. Experiments in space can give us possible new drug targets where we can study how to reverse these processes,” said Eyal.

There is precedent for microgravity research and its effects on pharmaceuticals on Earth. In fact, NASA-backed microgravity research into the loss of bone density made significant advancements in osteoporosis medication on Earth.

I’m really excited about the course,” Eyal shared. “The first class will look at hazards in space such as moondust and radiation,” after which they will study space flight history.

As new areas of education emerge all over the world, we at Space Channel are extremely excited when courses like this pop-up, and we’re excited to hear about more. And maybe one day, “I left my homework on the moon” might just be as believable as “my dog ate my homework.

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