Principal Investigator


BS Electrical Engineering, Drexel University

MS Electrical Engineering, Drexel University

PhD Biomedical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Dr. Shelhamer started at Johns Hopkins as a postdoctoral fellow in 1990. At MIT, he worked on sensorimotor physiology and modeling, including the study of astronaut adaptation to space flight. He then came to Johns Hopkins where he continued the study of sensorimotor adaptation with an emphasis on the vestibular and oculomotor systems. He has applied nonlinear dynamical analysis to the control of eye movements, including investigations of the functional implications of fractal activity in physiological behavior. In parallel with these activities, he has had support from NASA to study sensorimotor adaptation to space flight, amassing a fair amount of parabolic flight (“weightless”) experience in the process. He also serves as an advisor to the commercial spaceflight industry on the research potential of suborbital space flight. Dr. Shelhamer is the author of Nonlinear Dynamics in Physiology: A State-Space Approach, has published over 70 scientific papers, and has had research support from NIH, NSF, NASA, NSBRI, and the Whitaker Foundation. From 2013 to 2016, he served as NASA’s Chief Scientist for human research at the Johnson Space Center.




Mallika completed her PhD in Anthropology with a specialization in Human Biology at the University of Notre Dame. She currently is a Translational Research Institute of Space Health Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Her work focuses on bio-behavioral adaptations to extreme environments and her projects include assessing stress response, neurovestibular adaptation, and integrated multi-system physiology with applications to clinical settings and the spaceflight environment. Mallika is also a student pilot, sailing enthusiast, Bharatanatyam dancer, and competitive olympic weightlifter. When not in the lab, you’ll find her traveling or eating (preferably doing both at the same time).

Arjun Yogaratnam

Arjun Yogaratnam is a freshman at Johns Hopkins planning to double major in Molecular & Cellular Biology in addition to Applied Mathematics & Statistics. His main interests lie in the intersection between space and medicine, specifically how spaceflight affects brain psychology and physiology. In his free time, he enjoys learning about space medicine, playing instruments (viola and piano), writing poems, and reading manga.

Ashley Wang

Ashley is an undergraduate Biophysics major and Space Science minor at Johns Hopkins University. Her research interests lie in how the vestibular and cardiovascular systems are impacted by microgravity. She is also interested in astrobiology, and works in the Johns Hopkins Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences to develop reduction software and analyze exoplanet spectra. In her free time, Ashley is an avid tennis player, board game enthusiast, and student events planner. She loves listening to space ambient music!

Nabila Ali

Nabila is a medical student at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She is interested in space medicine and human physiology in extreme environments. She obtained a BS in Biological Sciences from University of California, Irvine, and she has a research background in atmospheric chemistry and in structural biology. She is currently working on a project studying neurovestibular adaptation in outer space. Her favorite celestial object is the Helix Nebula.


Ben is a third-year medical student at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine planning to specialize in Aerospace Medicine and Emergency Medicine. His previous education has been a BS in Human Science from Georgetown University and MSc degrees in Human Cognitive Neuropsychology and Space Physiology and Health from the universities of Edinburgh and King’s College London, respectively. His previous space-related research includes working on the microbiome of HI-SEAS Analog Mars participants, team psychology in Antarctica, and the effects of space radiation on rodent memory. He loves cooking, eating, traveling, video games, and meeting new people.

Sreelakshmi Rajendrakumar

Sreelakshmi is currently a Biomedical Engineering master’s student at Johns Hopkins. She has assisted in various lab projects and is helping generate new projects focused on team dynamics and team synchrony. Outside of lab work, she enjoys reading, baking, watching movies, and going for a walk outdoors.



Trifeena is an undergraduate Biomedical Engineering and Robotics minor student at Johns Hopkins University. She is interested in the implementation of medical technologies in space and how lessons learned can be integrated back into life on Earth. She hopes to one day work as a Flight Controller for a human spaceflight mission. Outside of the lab, Trifeena enjoys dancing as a member of Hopkins competitive co-ed bhangra team, reading new and classic novels, and going on hikes. She is thrilled to be part of the Human Spaceflight Lab at Hopkins!


Conner is an Applied Physics master’s student at Johns Hopkins. His work in the Human Spaceflight Lab includes Resilient System Analysis pertaining to the complex non-linear network of long-term human spaceflight missions. Conner earned his bachelor’s degree in Physics from Wichita State University with a focus on neutrino physics. His research areas of interest include Space Medicine, Medical Physics, and applications of Artificial Intelligence in health-related fields. He is an Active Duty Submarine Officer in the Navy stationed at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Conner also enjoys scuba diving, volunteer work, board games, reading, and picking up random hobbies, only to abandon them a few weeks later.


Keval is currently a second year resident in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins. He attended the University of Michigan where he studied mechanical engineering. He then participated in the NIH OxCam Program where completed his MD at Washington University and PhD as a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and the NIH studying the transport of water in the blood brain barrier. Keval is a certified scuba diver, private pilot, and Eagle Scout. He enjoys playing/watching soccer, flying planes, and traveling to exciting places to hike and dive.


Thomas is an undergraduate student in his final year of studying Aerospace Engineering at California State University-Long Beach. He is looking to pursue a PhD in Aerospace Engineering once he graduates and has interests in bioastronautics, propulsion, and space systems. He also interns at APL where he works on submarine navigation systems and conducts research at his university on solid fuel combustion. Outside of work, he enjoys playing volleyball and video games.



KAN YAOVATSAKUL, BS. Johns Hopkins University. Currently at University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.

CARA SPENCER, BS. UC San Diego. Currently at NASA KBR Wyle.

AMI MANGE, BS. Johns Hopkins University. Currently a medical student at Yale School of Medicine.

SERENA TANG, BS. Johns Hopkins University. Currently a graduate student at UC Berkeley.