Celestial Citizen Ep. 205: Exploring OUTer Space
On this week’s episode, we’re joined by Nicolas Nelson, MD candidate and Operations Director at Out Astronaut. We’ll discuss the emerging field of space medicine and its importance for the future of space activities, the current climate for the LGBTQ+ community in the space industry, and what Out Astronaut is doing to make space more diverse and inclusive.
Nicolas is a medical student with plans to become a radiation oncologist and flight surgeon, taking care of cancer patients on Earth while conducting astronaut health surveillance and radiation research. Two of his goals have been to encourage aspiring LGBTQ+ professionals in science and to advocate for planetary stewardship. He cofounded the AMSRO Diversity Committee, which is taking strides to support diversity and inclusion in astronautics and aerospace medicine.
He earned a bachelor’s at University of California, Los Angeles in biochemistry and English, after which he taught junior high science and worked as a hospital pharmacy technician, then a research assistant and teaching assistant at his post-baccalaureate program. At his medical school, Thomas Jefferson University, he externed in radiation oncology while keeping active in the aerospace medicine community.
While working toward his MD, he continues to be involved in the Out Astronaut Project, cancer research, and other space medicine activities. Nic remains a bicoastal lover of nature and exploration who hopes to wear many hats in his career: clinician, researcher, advocate, global health volunteer, medical educator, and one day, maybe even astronaut.
Links mentioned during this episode:
Out Astronaut Project: https://outastronaut.org/ (includes link to make tax-deductible donations)
Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA): https://www.asma.org/home
AsMA Scholarships: https://asma-scholarships.secure-platform.com/a/
Aerospace Medicine Student & Resident Organization (AMSRO): https://www.amsro.org/
NASA/UTMB Aerospace Medicine Clerkship: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/aerospace-medicine-clerkship
AMSRO Diversity Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org