Dr Joan Vernikos
Joan Vernikos, PhD was Director of Life
Sciences at NASA Headquarters from 1993
until September 2000. She is well known
throughout the scientific community, coming
to Washington, DC from NASA's Ames Research
Center (ARC) in California. She joined ARC
in 1966 after four years at Ohio State
University Medical School where she was
Assistant Professor of Pharmacology. Trained
in London, Dr Vernikos held academic
appointments at Stanford University, Wright
State University School of Medicine, and was
Visiting Professor at the University of
She has published over 200 scientific papers
and reviews, has served on editorial boards
of scientific journals, and was Associate
Editor of Pharmacological Reviews. She holds
three patents, including that for the Human
Powered Centrifuge (US patent #5616104). Her
research focused on understanding the
hormone and behavioral mechanisms underlying
the response to stress and coping and
applying that knowledge to operational
conditions in aviation and space. In
parallel she led the ground research that
developed the framework for understanding
how spaceflight and Earth's gravity affect
the human body. For this work and her
leadership in the space sciences, she
received numerous awards including the
Strughold as well as the Leverett Awards
from the Aerospace Medical Association, the
Jeffries Award from the American Institute
of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the
Lifetime Achievement Award of the Women in
Aerospace, NASA's Exceptional Scientific
Achievement and two Exceptional Leadership
President of Thirdage LLC. she consults,
writes and is a personal coach specializing
on the elimination of health debt through
Member of the International Academy of
Aeronautics and Astronautics
Research Fellow of the International
Strategic Studies Association
Fellow of the Aerospace Medical
Fellow of the World Economic Forum
Distinguished Speaker on "Leadership"
at the Strategy2005: Global Strategic
An advocate of space tourism, Dr. Vernikos
is an ardent believer in the use of space to
benefit humanity. She is a consultant to
space agencies and the aerospace industry,
and a mentor to men and women professionals.
Married to Geoffrey C. Hazzan, she has two
children, Eftihia and George Danellis. She
plays indifferent tennis, swims and gardens.
Is also a recognized expert chocolate
truffle-maker, having brought to bear her
background as a pharmacologist to invent the
first all-white chocolate truffle in Europe.
An entertaining and sought-after public
speaker, she offers scientific expertise in
understandable terms to audiences of all
ages and backgrounds. She brings to her
subject strategic senior management
experience of a multi-million dollar
For speaking engagements, Dr Vernikos'
topics can include:
The G-Connection: Defying Gravity to
Tackling Childhood Obesity: Lessons
Stress Management in the personal,
educational and work environment
The Great Health Robbery -- The
Re-Balancing Your Portfolio: It's not
Leadership: Nature or Nurture;
Training Leaders Elements for
Benefits from Space: Space Tourism
Inactivity: Physiological Effects
(Ed., with H. Sandler) Academic Press Inc.,
The G-Connection: Harness Gravity and
Reverse Aging, 294pp. Nov 2004, Lincoln,
NE, iUniverse Inc. Foreword by John Glenn.
Hardcover ISBN 0595-66710-4
Paperback ISBN 0595-3293-4
e-book ISBN 0595-77722-8
Maintain Youthfulness Even in Old Age:
Space Research Reveals the Secret. Chrysoula
Kourtidou-Papadeli, co-author; ZITI
publishers, Thessaloniki and Athens, Greece,
388pp, 2004. (Greek version). ISBN
The G-Connection (Japanese version)
Asahi-Shimbun-Sha Publishing Co. Tokyo;
In the pipeline are versions in:
Portuguese with Thais Russomano, M.D.,
Brazil, due out Sep 2007.
Italian with Felice Strollo, MD
German with Rupert Gerzer, MD
Recent Articles, Reviews, Media
Rappahannock News, Washington,
VA, January 6, 2005, "How to Reverse
Aging is Topic of RAAC's Program", by
The Winchester Star, Winchester, VA,
March 11, 2005, "The G-Connection:
Gravity Defies Aging Process," Book
Review by Val Van Meter.
Daily News, Palo Alto, CA, May 5,
2005, "Gravity may be Linked to Aging,"
by Joshua Sabatini.
Popular Science, "Headlines from
the Future," September 2005.
ODYSSEY Magazine, New York, NY, YJN
WINC Radio/TV, Winchester, VA, March 3,
2005, interview with Barry Lee.
Fox News/Ch 2, Oakland, CA, May 3, 2005,
interview with Frank McGowan.
NPR Marketplace interview with Amy
Scott, April 26, 2006.
Book Review by Dr. R.W. Phillips, The
Physiologist, Vol. 48(3), p.110,
Book Review by Roger Landry, MD MPH,
Aviation Space and Environmental
Medicine, Vol 77, p.765, July 2006.
A Sample of Past Speaking Engagements and
AARP local chapters, eg. Fredericksburg,
Lake of the Woods.
Retirement communities, eg Carol Woods
Retirement Community, NC; Cascades
Senior Ctr, Loudoun County, Sterling,
VA; Charlottesville Sr. Ctr, VA;
Leesburg Senior Ctr, VA.
Kiwanis; eg: Menlo Park, CA; Winchester,
Universities eg University of North
Carolina Planetarium, Chapel Hill, NC;
Mary Washington University,
Fredericksburg, VA; Mount Sinai
University Medical School, New York, NY;
University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.
Professional groups. eg: The
Harvard Business School Alumni Club of
Greater Washington, DC; Women in
Technology DC; Executive Womens
Roundtable, DC; Hellenic American
Womens Council, DC; Women of Culpeper,
VA; Aerospace Medical Association,
National Meeting, Orlando, FL, 2006.
Greek Aerospace Medical Association, Do
Astronauts Grow Old Faster in Space?
Oinousses, Greece, 2005.
Distinguished Speaker, Strategy 2005,
the Global Strategic Forum,
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