Thursday, August 28, 2008

My First Research Experience

Dr Cris, Scalpel's Edge, will be hosting SurgeXperiences on August 31, 2008, and has asked for a "research bent" post. I must admit I have not done much research during my training or in practice. Between my first and second years of medical school (summer of 1979) I had the opportunity to work in the Biomedical Research Division at Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California. It was my chance to work for NASA and I took it! I didn't have good enough eyesight to be an astronaut (very near-sighted), but I could have a small brush with them. Well, not really, I never meet any astronauts.

I spent that summer helping collect data for an anti-gravity experiment. The experiment was to try to

determine whether a different body position during bedrest (BR) could induce physiological responses that would be closer to those observed after exposure to weightlessness.

I helped collect and enter data -- age, height, weight, BSA, body fat, heart rate, systolic blood pressure, etc. I helped in lower body negative pressure testing. The findings from the study were:

1)BR resulted in a general decrease of exercise tolerance in both groups

2) the negative 6 degrees BR appeared to simulate the effects of weightlessness more effectively than horizontal BR when comparable space flight data were presented.

I enjoyed my summer and got my name on my first published paper.

Effects of antiorthostatic bedrest on the cardiorespiratory responses to exercise; Aviat Space Environ Med. 1981 Apr;52(4):251-5; Convertino VA, Bisson R, Bates R, Goldwater D, Sandler H.

1 comment:

Vijay said...

Congratulations. I know I'm nearly 20 years late!! But it's great that your very first publication happened to concern physics & medicine, both your loves.