Thursday, August 28, 2008

My First Research Experience

Updated 3/2017--photos and all links (except to my article) removed as many are no longer active and it was easier than checking each one.

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.