Former NASA Astronaut James Pawelczyk Joins CASIS Board of Directors

James Pawelczyk

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), September 18, 2020 – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the organization that manages the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory pursuant to a Cooperative Agreement with NASA, today announced that former NASA astronaut James (Jim) Pawelczyk, Ph.D., has joined the organization’s board of directors.

As the newest member of the CASIS board of directors, Pawelczyk will join a group that seeks to ensure and enhance the use of the ISS National Lab through basic and applied space-based research, continuing the progress toward our nation’s goal of developing a sustainable market economy in low Earth orbit.

In addition to Pawelczyk’s experience as a NASA payload specialist onboard STS-90, a role in which he logged more 381 hours in space, he joins the board as an acclaimed researcher in the fields of physiology and kinesiology. Pawelczyk has published more than 50 papers, with many focused on the effects of spaceflight on human health.

During his career, Pawelczyk has assisted in the formation of U.S. space life sciences strategy through the National Academy’s Committee on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space, Space Studies Board, and the Committee on Aerospace Medicine and the Medicine of Extreme Environments, as well as NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Research Committee.

Presently, Pawelczyk serves as an associate professor of physiology and kinesiology at The Pennsylvania State University. He founded and directs the university’s novel dual-title Ph.D. program in clinical and translational sciences and has received college and university awards for his contributions to the university’s teaching and outreach missions. 

Pawelczyk holds a Bachelor of Arts in biology and psychology from the University of Rochester, a Master of Science in physiology from The Pennsylvania State University, and a doctorate in biology from the University of North Texas.

“We are honored to have Jim Pawelczyk join the CASIS board of directors, as his work and general knowledge within the space research community will provide tremendous value to the ISS National Lab as we burgeon new avenues to leverage humankind’s greatest technical achievement,” said CASIS Interim Board of Directors Chair Lt. Gen. James A. Abrahamson (USAF Ret.). “The CASIS board welcomes Jim and his keen insight, as we push the boundaries of fundamental and applied research to bring value to our nation through space-based inquiry.”

In August, CASIS announced four new board members: Gale Allen, Ph.D.; Elizabeth Cantwell, Ph.D.; Eric Issacs, Ph.D.; and Michael Moloney, Ph.D. With the addition of Pawelczyk, there are now eight total members of the CASIS board of directors, including Abrahamson, former NASA astronaut Steven Smith, and STEM Hall of Fame inductee Ioannis (Yannis) Miaoulis, Ph.D.