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Former astronaut will talk about 'My Brain in Space'

Former astronaut will talk about 'My Brain in Space'

Former astronaut Dave Williams, president and CEO of Southlake Regional Health Centre, will talk about how his brain handled the weightlessness of outer space at the upcoming joint York Neuroscience - Centre for Vision Research seminar.

The talk, “My Brain in Space”, will take place, Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 4pm at 519 York Research Tower , Keele campus. A reception hosted by the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation will follow the event.

Right: Dave Williams in his astronaut suit

Williams, a medical doctor since 1983, joined the Canadian Space Agency in 1992 and participated in two spaceflights. He was on the space shuttle Columbia in 1998, where he spent 16 days experimenting on the effect of weightlessness on the brain. In 2007, he was a mission specialist on the space shuttle Endeavour as it made its way to the International Space Station. In total, he logged 28 days and 15 hours in space. It was during his Endeavour mission that he set the record for not only the number of spacewalks, three of them, but for time spent outside in space – 17 hours and 47 minutes.

He also participated in two NASA missions to Aquarius in the Florida Keys, the world’s only underwater research laboratory, to become Canada’s first dual astronaut and aquanaut.

Left: Dave Williams

Between space missions, Williams was director of the Space and Life Sciences Directorate at the Johnson Space Center in Texas. He was also the first deputy associate administrator for Crew Health and Safety in the Office of Space Flight at NASA headquarters.

Williams was a professor in the Department of Surgery at McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and director of the McMaster Centre for Medical Robotics at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, from 2008 to 2011. He was chief medical officer of Patient Safety and Quality at St. Joseph’s, from 2010 to 2011.

In 1992, he served as director of emergency services at Sunnybook Hospital and as an emergency physician at Kitchener General Hospital/St. Mary’s General Hospital, from 1989 to 1990.

To read a Q&A interview by NASA with Williams, click here.

Republished courtesy of YFile– York University’s daily e-bulletin.