David Keller

Department of Kinesiology

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He’s not an astrophysicist, an astronomer, or an engineer. Yet David Keller’s research may be instrumental in helping astronauts better cope with the physical consequences of space travel.

The kinesiology assistant professor is an expert on human physiology and cardiovascular distress. He’s also the principal investigator on a NASA-funded project focusing on how body temperature is regulated. Specifically, Dr. Keller is looking at the differences between arm and leg cycling as an effective exercise mode for astronauts. By examining the similarities between the cardiovascular and thermal responses to the respective exercises, he hopes to judge their usefulness in helping astronauts undergo heat acclimatization in space.

If people are going to be less able to regulate their temperature and, as a result, be at increased risk for fatigue and heat illness like heat stroke or even heat death upon exposure to microgravity, how can we correct that?” he asks.

That’s the next step for Keller. And that’s one giant leap for mankind.

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