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Kim Prisk

Adjunct Professor, Medicine, UC San Diego

Dr Prisk has been at UCSD since 1983 and is a Professor in the Division of Physiology of the Department of Medicine and in the Department of Radiology. His undergraduate training is in physics from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and he then completed a PhD in physiology at the University of Otago, New Zealand. After coming to UCSD he was principally involved with studies of the lung in the absence of gravity through direct studies in zero gravity on astronauts on board the Space Shuttle and more recently on the International Space Station. These studies remain the definitive body of work on the effects of spaceflight on the human lung. In 2003 Dr Prisk was awarded the Doctor of Science degree from the University of Otago for his studies on the lung in space. In conjunction with these studies Dr Prisk has also flown numerous experiments on NASA’s microgravity research aircraft with the principal intent of understanding the effects of gravity on the deposition of particles in the lung, a topic of importance in both the environmental exposure to airborne pollutants and inhaled drug delivery. In this area he has worked with NASA an the National Space Biomedical Research Institute to examine the possible deleterious effects of lunar dust on future explorers of the moon. In 2006 Dr Prisk joined the Department of Radiology and in currently involved in the development and use of quantitative techniques in MRI for physiological studies in the lung. This work, funded by the NIH, focuses on developing and utilizing techniques to measure ventilation, blood flow and their matching, the fundamental elements of pulmonary gas exchange.