Physician & Scientist

For more than a decade, Dr. Roberta Bondar headed an international research team studying the effects on astronauts of spaceflight and re-adaptation back to Earth's gravity.


Physician and Scientist

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Holder of the NASA Space Medal and inducted into the International Women's Forum Hall of Fame and Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for her groundbreaking research in space medicine, Roberta Bondar has also received 24 honorary doctorates from Canadian and American universities. She holds medical licenses in New Mexico, Ontario and is a Canadian Board Certified Neurologist with a subspecialty in Neuro-ophthalmology.


The world's first neurologist in space, Dr. Bondar is globally recognized for her contributions to space medicine. On the space shuttle Discovery mission STS 42 in 1992, Dr. Bondar conducted scientific experiments in the First International Microgravity Laboratory. This research has been published in peer-reviewed medical research journals.

For more than a decade at NASA, Dr. Bondar headed an international space medicine research team, continuing to find new connections between astronauts recovering from the microgravity of space and neurological illnesses here on Earth such as stroke and Parkinson's disease. Dr. Bondar's techniques have been used in clinical studies at BI Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and at the University of New Mexico.


Throughout her career, Dr. Bondar has maintained a deep interest in our own natural environment, here on Earth, and has spoken to diverse scientific, corporate and environmental organizations about social responsibility and our environment.

Dr. Bondar was Chair of the Working Group on Environmental Education for the Province of Ontario. All 32 recommendations of the working group were accepted by the Minster of Education and implemented to strengthen environmental education for elementary and secondary school students.



Globe op ed article, May 22, 2013
by Dr. Roberta Bondar


It is said that the most dangerous parts of spaceflight are the launch, the landing and everything in between. To those of us in space medicine, another part also has danger written all over it-the space normal body trying to recover to its Earth normal state. Early on in both the American and the former Soviet Union's space endeavors there was a guarded curiosity about how man would survive spaceflight. There was cautious optimism when the early Gemini program returned all astronauts safely back to planet Earth. The only medical flag was unconsumed food, a harbinger of space-related sickness that continues to plague many space travelers.


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