Dr. James M. Vanderploeg, MD, MPH is an Adjunct Professor of Aerospace Medicine in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas.
Dr. James M. Vanderploeg, MD, MPH is an Adjunct Professor of Aerospace Medicine in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas. His 40-year career in Aerospace Medicine began at the NASA Johnson Space Center where his duties included Chief of the Flight Medicine Clinic, Chief of the Medical Operations Branch, and the first Director of the Space Biomedical Research Institute. Throughout his career he has been active in various management, leadership, clinical, and research positions supporting civilian pilots and NASA astronauts in aviation and space flight activities.
Dr. Vanderploeg’s most recent activities in aerospace medical research have been as an Investigator for the FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation at UTMB for the past 10 years. His research has demonstrated that virtually all individuals of all age groups whose medical conditions are well controlled can safely withstand the acceleration forces of a space flight. For the past 14 years he has served as the Chief Medical Officer for Virgin Galactic where he developed the world-wide medical program for Virgin Galactic’s suborbital spaceflight program. He oversaw the Virgin Galactic pilot medical program and the emergency medical response plan. He is an Academician and the President of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine. His previous leadership activities included President of the Aerospace Medical Association, member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Medical Specialties, and Trustee and Executive Director of the American Board of Preventive Medicine.