NASA Flight Surgeon Who Spent 199 Days in Space Wins Inaugural Joseph P. Kerwin, M.D. Award

Jun 18, 2010, 10:00 ET from Wyle

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A NASA astronaut who spent 199 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS) is the first recipient of the Joseph P. Kerwin, M.D. Award honoring achievements in space life sciences.

Dr. Michael Barratt, a member of ISS Expeditions 19 and 20, was presented the award this month at the Aerospace Medical Association annual conference in Phoenix. He was honored for advances in the understanding of human physiology during spaceflight and innovation in the practice of space medicine to support optimal human health and performance in space.

"Dr. Barratt personifies leadership, passion, and accomplishment in aerospace medicine," said Bob Ellis, group president of Wyle's Integrated Science and Engineering Group headquartered in Houston, Texas. Wyle is sponsor of the award, presented under the auspices of the Aerospace Medical Association.

"From his days as a Wright State University resident, through a distinguished career as a NASA Flight Surgeon and Astronaut, his peers have sought his guidance and leadership. Like Dr. Kerwin before him, Mike is an exemplary role model for his colleagues and a kind friend to all. He and Dr. Kerwin served as leaders in aerospace medicine, and both were flight crewmembers on long-duration space missions."

He is honored for his many space medicine accomplishments including his pioneering work in establishing medical operations in Star City, Russia for the Shuttle-Mir Program, leading the ISS medical operations team for several years, and publishing the first text on clinical space medicine, said Ellis.

Dr. Barratt was selected as an astronaut candidate-mission specialist in 2000. Following the completion of two years of training and evaluation, he was assigned technical duties in the ISS Operations Branch. Assigned to long-duration flight training in 2005, he subsequently launched on Soyuz TMA-14 on March 26, 2009 to the ISS and served as a member of Expeditions 19 and 20.  This increment included the transition from three to six ISS crewmembers, two EVAs, two visiting shuttles and the arrival of the first Japanese module. 

Dr. Barratt earned a BS in Zoology from the University of Washington and attended Northwestern University for his medical degree. Following a three-year residency in Internal Medicine at Northwestern University, he served as chief resident at Veterans Administration Lakeside Hospital in Chicago. He completed the Wright State University aerospace medicine residency in 1991 and is board certified in internal medicine and preventive medicine-aerospace.  He came to NASA's Johnson Space Center in 1991, employed as a project physician with Wyle working on medical systems for Space Station Freedom. In July 1992 he was assigned as NASA Flight Surgeon working in Space Shuttle Medical Operations. In January 1994 he was assigned to the joint U.S./Russian Shuttle – Mir Program, working and training extensively in the Cosmonaut Training Center, Star City, Russia in support of the Mir-18/STS-71 and subsequent missions.

From 1995 through 1998, he served as medical operations lead for the ISS. A frequent traveler to Russia, he collaborated with counterparts at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center and Institute of Biomedical Problems, as well as other international partners. Dr. Barratt served as lead crew surgeon for the first expedition crew to ISS from July 98 until selected as an astronaut candidate. 

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Dan Reeder

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