Thomas Lang & Team Honored with Top Space Station Research Award!

UCSF’s Thomas Lang, PhD, was one of three researchers to be honored for achievements in International Space Station (ISS) top discoveries in microgravity at the second annual ISS Research and Development Conference, organized by the American Astronauticul Society (AAS) in cooperation with NASA and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS).  Lang accepted a team award in recognition of outstanding results of preventing bone loss in long-duration spaceflight – a Top Discovery of the International Space Station in 2012.

Lang’s research is focused on how the human skeleton adapts to microgravity and how the bones respond to exercise and drug treatments in that setting, and upon the return to Earth. From it, researchers can better understand how bone changes throughout life, in growth and aging, and how to prevent outcomes such as age-related bone fractures.

According to Allyson Thorn, assistant International Space Station Program scientist, “These selected awardees bring exciting results from their space station investigations that are contributing to our knowledge of the laws of physics in space leading to new spaceflight design possibilities and of our bodies response to spaceflight helping with countermeasures to let us further explore space.”

Lang accepted the honor on behalf of those who worked on ‘Bone Loss in Long-Duration Spaceflight: Measurements and Countermeasures’, including Joyce Kayak, PhD, for assessment of hip bone strength and fracture risk with QCT data from astronauts; Scott Smith, PhD, and colleagues, for the first identified successful countermeasure “prescription” results; and Adrian LeBlanc, PhD, for the Bisphosphonates study results on the second successful countermeasure prescription.

“This award nicely recognizes the community of NASA and academic researchers in carrying out research to define the extent and characteristics of bone loss in spaceflight and in developing exercise- and drug-based approaches to attack the problem. I am privileged to accept this award on behalf of the researchers who have contributed their hard work and expertise to this critical medical issue,” said Thomas Lang.