Title:  Chief Scientific Officer

Division:  Center for Space Medicine
Work Location:  Texas Medical Center, Houston, TX
Requisition ID:  8315

Internal Title: Academic rank commensurate with qualifications and experience. 

U.S. citizenship is required for this position.


TRISH is seeking an entrepreneurial and strategic thinker to serve as its Chief Scientific Officer (CSO). The ideal candidate is a health science innovator who can connect the dots across scientific disciplines to guide TRISH’s approach to solving NASA’s space health challenges in new ways. The CSO must possess agility, flexibility, and risk tolerance to support a team of out-of-the-box thinkers and scientists. The ideal candidate should approach challenges optimistically and possess the drive to overcome barriers.  
The Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) will operate as one member of the executive leadership team of the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) and as a faculty member within BCM’s Center for Space Medicine, reporting to the Director of TRISH. The CSO will lead science strategy within an agile and fast-moving organization tasked with delivering health and performance technology and research deliverables to NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP). As a leader within the Science Office, this role will oversee and support a team of 4 scientists. 

The candidate must be skilled in communicating effectively with a variety of stakeholders. An ability to provide timely and meaningful feedback to their team is essential. The role requires ease in relationship building as this individual will liaise with government, academic and industry stakeholders. As a strong and engaging communicator, the CSO will lead high level presentations and speeches in a variety of settings and serve as the science storyteller for the institute

The CSO will guide and support scientific researchers and oversee the Institute’s cohort of 100+ funded investigators throughout the United States. 
The Candidate will be eligible for a faculty position at a rank appropriate with his or her experience within a department that is aligned scientifically.

The Candidate will also receive an appointment in the Center for Space Medicine.


TRISH, led by BCM CSM, is a virtual institute awarded through a NASA cooperative agreement. Further information is available at www.bcm.edu/spacehealth.

Information about the BCM Center for Space Medicine information is available at https://www.bcm.edu/centers/space-medicine.

Job Duties


  • Collaborative 
  • Comfortable adapting to rapid shifts in scope and mission
  • Likes working innovatively but with the guidance of the mission and the Institute Director
  • Passionate about health science and research
  • Enjoys and is highly productive working virtually
  • Thrives working as a member of a small team
  • Able to communicate both strategy and detail with engaging and focused messaging
  • Leads their teams with clear expectations, strong support and open dialogue
  • Creative problem solver
  • Naturally a curious individual
  • Fast-paced and driven individual, able to sustain periods of intense work

Strategic Responsibilities:

  • Help chart and execute on the vision and mission for the Institute’s Science Office and execute a research roadmap that advances both early stage science projects as well as more mature innovations.  
  • Liaise effectively with the Institute’s Deputy Director/Chief Innovation Officer and the Chief Medical Officer to strategize and prioritize initiatives across the Institute.
  • Develop a “technology radar” based on NASA’s current and future needs to identify and track emerging health technology that can be developed to support NASA’s deep space exploration missions.  
  • Work with the TRISH team to acquire research and technology advancements through open solicitations, monitor progress, and support ongoing development downstream.  

Tactical Responsibilities:

  • Lead and project-manage key initiatives; evaluate and secure executive endorsement and financial commitment for technology projects, as needed.
  • Oversee merit reviews of science proposals and make strategic funding recommendations to the Selection Official. 
  • Creatively source scientific innovations and disruptive approaches and bring forth opportunities for new research directions.
  • Working closely with the TRISH Science Team, plan, draft, and execute research solicitations including recruitment of external subject matter experts, oversee merit review processes and programmatic relevance scoring.
  • Research new opportunities and build connections within diverse science and health communities.
  • Contribute to the academic missions of the candidate’s faculty home department and the Center for Space Medicine. 
  • Communicate on the deliverables from completed projects to NASA stakeholders and answer any technical questions.

Operational Focus

  • Oversee the research portfolio to ensure investigators fulfill grant requirements and that all documentation is organized and tracked.
  • Liaise with funded investigators to resolve project issues as needed
  • Oversee the activities of the TRISH Scientific Portfolio Manager.
  • Collaborate with the TRISH Communications team to develop scientific content for presentations and online digital channels, including website and social media. 
  • As a faculty member, contribute to the Center for Space Medicine through engagement with students and colleagues.


Minimum Qualifications

Doctorate degree (Ph.D. or Sc.D.) in any of the biological sciences. 

  • Five years relevant experience beyond postdoctoral training, which should include managing a scientific team of three or more people, preferably in or liaising with the private sector. This is important because a customer-focus for products is essential in this position. Publications are not the most important deliverables. This person should not be solely academically focused.
  •  Possess a wide and robust scientific or health innovation network with at least 500 connections on Linked-In.

Desired Qualifications

  •  Five or more years of experience in a leadership role sourcing scientific innovation and/or experience executing funded research grants.
  •  Experience in science or related writing for the lay public with published examples.
  •  Prior space biomedical research experience is not required; however, strong candidates will have an ability to function as a generalist in health sciences, supported by their relevant scientific training. 
  •  Some experience in scientific research and teaching required.
  •  Periodic travel to NASA Johnson Space Center or conferences will be required.





Baylor College of Medicine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Equal Access Employer.