ISH3: 3rd International Space Health Forum
“Human Energy Conservation on Earth and in Space
Hibernation, Meditation, Sleep: Learning from Earth Models for Healthy Space Exploration”

Date Apr. 3-4, 2014
Venue ODU Peninsula Center, Hampton, VA US
Directors Joan Vernikos, PhD – Chair, TI/CIMY/TISHA Stephane Blanc, PhD – TISHA Advisory Committee
Sponsor Taksha Institute for Space Health and Aging (TISHA)
Held Apr. 3-4, 2014 (Hampton, VA)
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Workshop Description

The Taksha Institute for Space Health and Aging (TISHA) presents this 3rd annual workshop on Human Energy Conservation on Earth and in Space, with a focus on “Hibernation. Meditation. Sleep: Learning from Earth Models for Healthy Space Exploration.” This workshop is sponsored by Taksha University, in cooperation with Old Dominion University, STC, and others.

In the context of human health, resilience, or the ability of humans to recover, is the basis of healthy living. In Space, success in maintaining an Earth-healthy state by applying heavy energy-consuming exercise regimes has been questionable. An open-to-the-public forum can encourage exchange of ideas and discussion by experts in physiological models of energy preservation and restoration, such as hibernation, meditation, and sleep. This forum will focus on health states that have been shown on the ground to naturally allow 1) protein and bone sparing strategies during winter sleep in hibernating animals despite months of disuse; 2) increased energy sparing, cognitive function and sleep quality via meditation; and 3) the restorative role of sleep on cognitive, muscle, bone, and metabolic functions. The purpose of this discussion is to stimulate the exchange of ideas and knowledge in order to identify how these sparing mechanisms may maintain health and prevent wasting in Space explorers, as well as humans on Earth.

The present workshop is intended to provide cross-fertilization of ideas from research on a variety of low-energy states with the object of discovering ways of supporting the health of Space travelers on long-duration missions. The discussions and recommendations will be recorded and compiled for publication, to provide a landmark document to initiate follow-on discussion and exploration in this new field.


The primary objective of this Forum is to provide a venue to have an exchange of information on cross-cutting topics of Hibernation, Sleep, and Meditation among distinguished experts, in the format of presentations, round-table discussions, and a panel discussion with audience Q&A. The secondary objective is to assess the conclusions and knowledge gaps, and make recommendations for research and studies in this field. The tertiary objective is to compile the presentation papers and recorded discussions to publish a land-mark edited volume, the first such document in the field, for the benefit of the scientific community.

Topics and Speakers

  • Space Physiology and Medicine: The Role of Gravity and Sedentary Lifestyles, Health, Wellness and Aging
    Joan Vernikos, PhD (Chair) – Taksha Institute for Space Health and Aging (TISHA), Taksha Institute (US)
  • Muscle Metabolism: In Space, Bed Rest, and Hibernation
    Stephane Blanc, PhD (Co-Chair) – Centre d’Ecologie et de Physiologie Energetiques, CNRS, University of Strasbourg (FR)
  • The Biochemistry of Winter Hibernation
    Professor Kenneth B. Storey, PhD – Institute of Biochemstry, Carleton University, Ottawa (CA)
  • Energy Metabolism and Nutrition
    T. Peter Stein, PhD – Institute of Successful Aging (US)
  • Gaps in Knowledge
    Guillaumette Ganquelin, PhD – Centre National d’Etudes Spaciales (CNES)
  • Sleep Apnea and Respiratory Issues
    Dilip Sarkar, MD, FACS, DAyur, CAP – School of Integrative Medicine, Taksha Institute (US)


DISCLAIMER: Attendance at this event is for personal growth, and entails no promise of employment.