Aerospace Medicine Expert to Give Distinguished Lecture March 10

By ChaseYavondaC

Clark will present “Touch the Future: Research, Medicine and Space Exploration” in the I. Dodd Wilson Education Building auditorium. Clark is giving the Robert E. McGehee Jr., Ph.D., Distinguished Lectureship in Biomedical Research as part of the UAMS Graduate School’s annual Student Research Day.

Clark’s work focuses on the neurologic effects of extreme environments and crew survival in space.

He worked at NASA from 1997 to 2005 as a six-time space shuttle crew surgeon and chief of the Medical Operations Branch at Johnson Space Center. He was a member of the NASA Spacecraft Survival Integrated Investigation Team from 2004 to 2007 and a member of the NASA Constellation Program EVA Systems Project Office Standing Review Board from 2007 to 2010. Before joining NASA, Clark spent 26 years in the U.S. Navy.

Today he is an associate professor of neurology and space medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and teaches operational space medicine at BCM’s Center for Space Medicine. He is also the space medicine adviser for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute. He is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and teaches at the UTMB Aerospace Medicine Residency. Clark is a fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association. He was also medical director of the Red Bull Stratos Project.

Clark received his Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University and medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He is board certified in neurology and aerospace medicine.

Clark’s wife, the astronaut Laurel Clark, died along with six fellow crew members in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003.

The McGehee Distinguished Lectureship was created in 2011 as an enduring gift from an anonymous couple to benefit UAMS and the state by making it possible to invite leading biomedical researchers to share their knowledge and work with students and faculty.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.