MARK SHELHAMER, ScD
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 SARMA, PhD
Mallika completed her PhD in Anthropology with a specialization in Human Biology at the University of Notre Dame. She currently is an NIH trainee and postdoctoral research fellow in the Human Spaceflight Lab at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine working on projects 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, Indian classical dancer, olympic weightlifter, and enjoys traveling to and spending time in extreme environments just for fun.
Serena Tang, BS
Serena is a recent graduate from Johns Hopkins with a double major in Physics and Neuroscience. She led two studies in the Human Spaceflight Lab, including a multivariate analysis study looking at interactions between various physiological systems, and a NASA-funded study to figure out how to measure the vestibular system in space and on Earth. She is continuing her work with the lab, and also picked up a research project with the Space Science Telescope Institute, where she builds software for various space and ground based telescopes. Serena enjoys various martial arts, playing guitar and astrophotography in her free time.
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 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 is a medical student at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She is interested in space medicine and human physiology in extreme environments. She has a research background in atmospheric chemistry and in structural biology. Her favorite celestial object is the Helix Nebula.
BENJAMIN JOHNSON, MSc
Ben is a second 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.
Yasmeen Sallam is a second year public health major on the premed-track at American University. She has been involved in various medical research opportunities at various locations including Walter Reed Jr. Hospital and Arusha Hospital in Tanzania. She takes passion in the crossovers of human spaceflight and medicine and is excited to be a part of the Human Spaceflight Lab at JHU.
Sreelakshmi Rajendrakumar, MS
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.
Vedant is an undergraduate senior at Johns Hopkins University double-majoring in Physics and Applied Math and minoring in Space Science. His main research revolves around using statistical and machine learning techniques to characterize stellar physics and stellar formation, however, he has found that these techniques can also be used to characterize human physiology and performance. He enjoys pulling ideas from his various interests to analyze and extract information from different kinds of data. In his free time, he enjoys listening to space music and searching for his favorite star, V838 Monocerotis.
Aparajita is a junior at Johns Hopkins majoring in Biophysics and minoring in Space Science. She is interested in developing quantitative tools to study the interactions between systems in the human body. She hopes to apply her background in machine learning and precision medicine to space science, where she can use data-driven approaches to improve health outcomes for astronauts.
Wyatt Kilburn, BS
Wyatt is a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where he majored in Medicine, Science and the Humanities and Natural Sciences with a minor in Spanish for the Professions. He currently works at Martin’s Point Healthcare in Maine, screening patients for symptoms of COVID-19 and acute respiratory illness. Wyatt is also training for a private pilot license and is applying to medical school, where he hopes to begin a career as an internist and potentially specialize in aerospace medicine.
Rebecca is a sophomore at Johns Hopkins double-majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Applied Mathematics & Statistics. Her focus areas include instrumentation and data science regarding biomedical engineering, and she hopes to develop medical devices to improve human health potentially in spaceflight applications. In her free time, she enjoys baking, playing with her dog, and dreaming about launching a space mission with her engineer siblings.
Jessica is a sophomore at Johns Hopkins majoring in Computer Science. She helped develop the HSLtools package the lab has produced, and pioneered a collaboration with Dr. Michael Rosen’s team by helping develop data analysis techniques for their project on team dynamics.
Alumni of the Lab
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.