Learn Space Medicine from the Comfort of Home

Have you ever wondered what it would take for humans to travel beyond the comforts of our home planet, Earth? Duke students and alumni are invited to participate in Space Medicine, a new online learning experience in which you will learn about and engage in the most pressing medical challenges facing NASA and others advancing the future of space exploration.

About the course

Space Medicine is a six-week, non-credit online learning experience (July 12 – August 23) featuring interactive modules and weekly live discussions. Participants will reflect on questions pertinent to the future of human health in space, such as:

  • How do humans respond to extreme environments?
  • How can engineers, doctors, and scientific researchers come together to prevent space related health issues before they occur?
  • If future generations of humans attempt to live in space, what challenges will they face? 
  • Which evolutionary adaptations to living on Earth are useful to surviving a months- or years-long voyage?

Duke students and alumni: register by June 30 for this non-credit learning experience for free!*

Each week will comprise two hours of engaging learning, including rich multimedia lessons and a weekly interactive discussion of a patient scenario that is based on the scientific literature. In these medical case studies, you and your fellow students and alumni will investigate some of the most anticipated challenges to humans living in space for extended periods of time, as well as weigh potential solutions.

No prior experience in science or medicine is required, as life science concepts will be introduced as necessary. At the end of Space Medicine, you will have gained valuable experience in applying modern medicine to space-based situations, from space flight to journeying to Mars.

The instructors

Your instructors for this learning experience are two Duke graduating seniors: Dominic Tanzillo and Nick Saba. Dominic majored in Neuroscience and Mathematics with a minor in Chemistry. Nick majored in Evolutionary Biology (or Genetics) with minors in Bioinformatics and Russian. In Fall 2020, Dominic and Nick came together to develop the curriculum and lead the teaching efforts of a Duke House Course in Space Medicine. This Duke House Course stimulated an unexpected and notable surge of interest in Space Medicine throughout the Duke community. This Summer 2021, Dominic and Nick are expanding access to this content in an updated online experience. In this innovative model, Duke students and Duke alumni will join forces to tackle real-world, problem-based scenarios and engage in lively discussions all situated in the emerging field of human health in space.

Get help with online teaching

Learning Innovation works with both individual faculty and university leadership to design and develop new, innovative online offerings. Our approaches are informed by data, rooted in market research, and supported by years of expertise in online course and program development. If you are interested in developing an online course or program, or simply want help with teaching online, contact us at learninginnovation@duke.edu.

*We are currently only able to offer this learning experience at no cost to Duke students and alumni.