Science and Innovation

First Nominee


Michael A. Schmidt

Ph.D. Molecular Medicine, Neuroscience;

Human Performance in Extreme Environments

CEO & Chief Scientific Officer │ Sovaris Aerospace

Dr. Michael A. Schmidt is among those leading the advancement of precision medicine in human spaceflight. His clinical and research work is focused on multi-scale analytics derived from genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and microbiomics. This includes involvement in the NASA Twins Study of One Year in Space, and forthcoming Lunar and Mars expeditions.


Dr. Schmidt has three decades of experience working with elite performers in extreme environments, which includes leading the molecular profiling and countermeasure efforts for humans ranging from wilderness medicine, S.W.A.T., high altitude ascent, military Special Forces, NFL, NBA, US Olympic athletes, professional cycling, and motor sports (24 Hours of Le Mans). Dr. Schmidt also leads the Sovaris Aerospace research collaboration, as a member of the FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation.


Dr. Schmidt is the current President of the Life Sciences and Biomedical Engineering Branch of the Aerospace Medical Association.


He is also the former Course Director of Clinical Genomics, Proteomics, & Metabolomics at George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences.


Dr. Schmidt did his doctoral (Ph.D.) research in Molecular Medicine and Biochemistry within the Life Sciences Division at NASA Ames Research Center, which included work with humans on NASA’s 20G long-radius human centrifuge. He received a second Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Lancaster University, focused on molecular modifiers of neuroplasticity. He is the 2019 winner of the Research & Development Innovation Award from the Life Sciences and Biomedical Engineering Branch of the Aerospace Medical Association. He is also the 2020 recipient of the Marie Marvingt Award for Excellence in Aerospace Medicine from the Aerospace Medical Association.


In addition to his medical work, Dr. Schmidt has also spent 25 years exploring humpback whale, dolphin, and orca communities in the wild, including expeditions with National Geographic. He is also a human performance specialist with the Rwandan National Cycling team, supporting young Rwandan riders who lost family members in the genocide. He lives in Boulder, Colorado USA.

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