Space & Extreme Environmental Medicine Interest Group

The Columbia Space & Extreme Environmental Medicine Interest Group is one of only a handful of student-run organizations in the country dedicated to providing a forum for medical students, residents, graduate students, and undergraduate students to learn about and discuss the applications of science and medicine in space and the many extreme environments on Earth.

In short, we seek to understand both normal and abnormal health in extreme environments. We do this in several ways:

  1. The Columbia Aerospace Medicine Lecture Series – We invite experts from Columbia, NASA, and the top institutions in the country to share their experiences and expertise in aerospace and extreme environmental medicine. These lectures are where we expose students to a variety of different fields, learn about new and exciting applications of medicine, and listen to the always exciting, ever-changing career paths of experts in the field.
  2. The Columbia/Virginia Tech Aerospace Medicine Journal Club – This is where medical students lead the discussion. Our informal, completely student-run journal club allows students to direct their own learning experience. Each month, we present one primary research article and one case study to the group to discuss. While residents and faculty may pop in to answer questions and elaborate on certain topics, it is the students who present the papers and lead the discussion.
  3. Interdisciplinary Collaboration – Through a connection to the Columbia Space Initiative, we work with graduate and undergraduate engineering students to brainstorm novel research ideas and understand the interplay of engineering and medicine in human spaceflight and exploration.
  4. Interinstitutional Collaboration – Through connections with the Aerospace Medicine Student & Resident Organization (AMSRO) and medical schools across the nation, we work with other medical students to build on our current activities and discover new ways to explore and discuss space and extreme environmental medicine.
  5. Workshops – We are planning to host multiple workshops to learn practical skills in wilderness medicine, such as basic wilderness survival, kit planning, and bleeding control.
  6. Research Opportunities – We are currently working to provide our members with a variety of research opportunities within the scope of the group.

As we look toward the fast-growing commercial space flight industry and the future of human exploration beyond Earth, we hope to inspire the next generation of physician-explorers.

For more information about becoming a member of the Columbia Space & Extreme Environmental Medicine Interest Group, please email us at