The LSU Internal Medicine Residency in Baton Rouge
SERENA AUÑÓN-CHANCELLOR, MD, MPH
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine
Serena Auñón-Chancellor came to the Johnson Space Center in 2006, employed as a Flight Surgeon under the UTMB/Wyle Bioastronautics contract. She spent more than nine months in Russia supporting medical operations for International Space Station (ISS) crew members in Star City, including water survival training in the Ukraine. She also served as the Deputy Crew Surgeon for the Shuttle mission, STS-127 and has also held the role of Deputy Lead for Orion – Medical Operations.
Dr. Auñón-Chancellor was selected in July 2009 as one of 14 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class. During her training period, she completed multiple scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in space station systems, spacewalks, robotics, physiological training, and over 500 hours in the T-38 training jet. She has served in the ISS Operations branch handing medical issues and the Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) branch as a lead CAPCOM for multiple commercial cargo resupply missions. In January of 2017, she began an international training regimen for launch on the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft from Kazakhstan for a 6-month trip to the ISS. Her crew launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome 06 June 2018 and landed 20 December 2018 spending 197 days on orbit. During her time on both Expedition 56 and 57, her crew completed over 150 different experiments in multiple fields including: biology & biotechnology, cancer, Parkinson and Alzheimer research, materials science, nuclear physics, physical sciences, and Earth science. They also completed successful robotic capture operations for four visiting commercial vehicles bringing critical cargo to the ISS. In addition, Dr. Auñón-Chancellor served as the lead robotic operator during an EVA that was performed on the ISS during their first week on orbit. She performed multiple outreach events to students in grade school and universities all over the world during her time on orbit inspiring the next generations of scientists, physicians, engineers, and explorers.
In addition to being board certified in Internal Medicine, Dr. Auñón-Chancellor is also board certified in Aerospace Medicine, and is considered to be an expert in extreme medicine as she has practiced in almost every environment both on and off the planet. This includes a 42-day stay living 200 miles from the South Pole on the antarctic ice under the sea in the Aquarius Habitat, and 240 miles above the Earth’s surface on the ISS. During her time in the Astronaut Office, she has collaborated and consulted with multiple international space agencies as well as commercial companies such as SpaceX and Boeing regarding medical issues impacting our return to the moon and eventual missions to Mars. She has given keynote addresses and lectures at multiple universities worldwide as well as government agencies including the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the White House. Her passion lies with mentoring, training, and inspiring the next generation of Internal Medicine and Aerospace Medicine physicians.
Dr. Auñón-Chancellor currently serves as a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine for the LSU Health Sciences Center Internal Medicine Residency Program in Baton Rouge in partnership with Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center where she continues to actively teach and lead hospital teams with residents and medical students. In addition to this, she is the current UTMB Aerospace Medicine Residency Program Director and focuses on the training of physicians to serve this nation’s space program as well as the burgeoning commercial space industry. Finally, she maintains an active role in the Astronaut Office where she covers medical issues and provides guidance for ISS, Lunar, and Exploration-Class missions. Her research interests include thrombosis in microgravity, space radiation and its clinical effects on humans, and the major medical challenges facing astronauts during exploration class missions.