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Dr Mike Barratt has orbited our planet 202 times

Astronaut joins Exeter as Professor

An expert in space medicine will be joining the University of Exeter as an Honorary Professor.

Dr Mike Barratt has orbited our planet 202 times, travelling 5.3 million miles in 307 hours. From 1995 to 1998 he served as Medical Operations Lead for the International Space Station (ISS). He operated as Mission Specialist on the iconic Space Shuttle Discovery’s final mission, in 2011.

Now Dr Barratt will lend his experience to the University of Exeter Medical School as an honorary professor. Dr Barratt has previously been involved in the Medical School’s MSc Extreme Medicine programme.

After graduating in BSc Zoology from the University of Washington in 1981, Dr Barratt moved on to Northwestern University where he became a Doctor of Medicine in 1985. He then completed a three year residency in Internal medicine at the same institution, before completing a Chief Residency year at Veterans Administration Lakeside Hospital in Chicago in 1989, and a residency and Master’s programme in Aerospace Medicine at Wright State University in 1991. He is board certified in Internal and Aerospace Medicine.

Dr Barratt currently serves in the International Space Station Operations and Integration branches, handling medical issues and on-orbit support. He is also Associate Editor for Space Medicine for the journal Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance, and senior editor of the textbook Principles for Clinical Medicine for Space Flight.

Dr Malcom Hilton, Acute Sub Dean at the University of Exeter Medical School and a Consultant Surgeon, said: “Dr Barratt’s involvement strengthens what is already a high quality programme that is raising the bar for Extreme Medicine education to new heights. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity in a growing field of medical need.”

In support of the role, Dr Barratt gave a presentation on his accomplished career, on Streatham Campus Thursday 20 June. The talk covered his time in space and his adventures at sea, with an open Q&A session.

The Masters programme will equip healthcare professionals to practice medicine in the world’s most remote and challenging environments, including Polar Regions, the desert and now the ultimate extreme environment – outer space. Graduates will have the skills to deliver excellent care amidst disaster or on expedition to such extreme remote locations.

Mark Hannaford, co-founder of World Extreme Medicine, said: “I’m thrilled to welcome Dr Barratt aboard. His expertise and input is a real coup, and contributes to the high quality that our students can expect across a range of disciplines. Who better to advise on extreme medicine than an experienced flight surgeon?”

Dr Barratt was born in Washington in 1959. He joined the NASA Johnson Space Centre in 1991, employed as a project physician with KRUG Life Sciences, working on medical systems for Space Station Freedom. In 1992, he was assigned as NASA Flight Surgeon and worked in Space Shuttle Medical Operations. He was selected as an astronaut in 2000.

Date: 7 August 2019

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