blank spacer gif Personal Statement
Monty R. Rieger
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

For several years, I have been interested In the affects of microgravity on the morphology and mineralization of bone. To that end, I have measured bones and fractured bones to characterize the consequences of microgravity. I have even served as a mentor for other NASA student fellows. Up until recenUy, however, when I decided to 90 back to school to get a dental degree, my ability to conduct research In the fleid had been limited since my background was In engineering. Repeatedly, I found that certain questions, biological questions, could not be answered simply by studying the resulting engineering properties of bone. Questlons related to cellular activities became more and more important and yet remained elusive, I.e., what cellular stimuli cause bone remodeling, what stress levels trigger cellular responses, are there specific mineralization pattems within bones subjected to microgravity, can computer-enhanced images and FEM analysis accurately predict bone remodeling outcomes, are current animal models indicative of what occurs in humans.

The NASA/Texas Space Grant Consortium Feliowship provides an opportunity for me to better marry my engineering background, especially my computer modeling and FEM analysis expertise, to my newly acquired knowledge of the underlying biological causes for bone remodeling and adaptation to both macrogravity and microgravity effects. It further allows me to develop as a life-long biomaterials and biomechanics researcher.


Wednesday, 26-Mar-2003 22:10:36 CST