April 2001 A P S   O B S E R V E R Vol. 14 No. 4
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Dinges to lead space research team

David F. Dinges APS Member David F. Dinges, professor of psychology in psychiatry and director of the Unit for Experimental Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has been named team leader for the new Neurobehavioral and Psychosocial Factors Team of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI).

"Dinges' combined experience in human performance and expertisein physiological monitoring make him the perfect fit for this new team," said Larry Young, NSBRI Director.

As a team leader, Dinges will manage scientists from seven institutions working on eight NSBRI neurobehavioral and psychosocial team projects. The team's research will focus on identifying how stress and isolation affect crew health, safety and productivity during long-duration space missions. Team objectives include developing methods to monitor brain functions and behavior, evaluating groups in isolated environments, and identifying countermeasures to enhance performance, motivation and quality of life.

The NSBRI, a consortium of 12 research institutions, focuses on research to pave the way for human exploration of space. Besides neurobehavioral and psychosocial factors, NSBRI projects address space health concerns such as bone loss, muscle weakening, cardiovascular changes, sleep disturbances, immunology and infection, balance and orientation, radiation exposure, nutrition, fitness and rehabilitation, and remote-treatment technologies.

Dinges, who also serves as chief of the Division of Sleep and Chronobiology in the Department of Psychiatry, received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, and both his master's and doctoral degrees in physiological psychology from Saint Louis University. He conducted post-doctoral work at George Washington University and at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

For more information on Dinges visit his web page at www.med.upenn.edu/cnb/dinges.htm. His research focuses on identifying countermeasures for the biological limits imposed by stressors, work demands and sleep loss on human neurobehavioral functions, such as vigilance, cognitive performance, fatigue and mood.

Established in 1997 through a NASA competition, the NSBRI consortium includes Baylor College of Medicine, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Harvard Medical School, The Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Morehouse School of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Rice University, Texas A&M University, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, University of Pennsylvania Health System and University of Washington.


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