an Explore Mars Event

May 7-8, 2024

Jack Morton Auditorium,

The George Washington University

Washington D.C.



NASA | Human Research Program, Associate Chief Scientist

Dr. Jancy McPhee currently serves as the associate chief scientist for the NASA Human Research Program. In this role, she helps build science strategies and implement research goals, coordinating with government, international, and commercial partners across various physiological disciplines, space missions, and Earth-based simulations of life in space. She supports the Program goal to safeguard the health and performance of astronauts on exploration missions.

She began her NASA career at the National Space Biomedical Research Association in 2000. There, and later at the Universities Space Research Association, she managed various aspects of NASA’s space life sciences research programs, including international teams focused on artificial gravity and antioxidant nutrition as safeguards to space hazards. Her strategies focused on how to identify and mitigate various health risks on space missions.

McPhee holds a bachelor’s degree in neurobiology and behavior from Cornell University and a doctorate degree in biophysics from Brandeis University. After earning her degrees, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the University of Washington and the California Institute of Technology, where she investigated the structure and function of ion channel and receptor proteins.

She has won numerous awards, including the NASA Johnson Space Center Director’s Innovation Award. She’s also active in public engagement and education in science and technology, encouraging the public to use multimedia artwork as an outlet to capture enthusiasm around human space exploration and to inspire students to envision space exploration’s future.