Kim Prisk Back

Professor Emeritus of Medicine, University of California San Diego, USA

Kim Prisk has been at the University of California, San Diego since 1983 following completion of his PhD from the University of Otago in Christchurch, NZ. He is a professor in the division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep Medicine and Physiology at the Department of Medicine. At UCSD he was principally involved with studies of the lung in the absence of gravity through direct studies in zero gravity on astronauts on board the Space Shuttle and on the International Space Station. These studies remain the definitive body of work on the effects of spaceflight on the human lung. In 2003 Dr Prisk was awarded the Doctor of Science degree from the University of Otago for his studies on the lung in space. In conjunction with these studies, Dr Prisk has also flown numerous experiments on NASA’s microgravity research aircraft with the principal intent of understanding the effects of gravity on the deposition of particles in the lung, a topic of importance in both the environmental exposure to airborne pollutants and inhaled drug delivery. In this area, he has worked with NASA to examine the possible deleterious effects of lunar dust on future explorers of the moon and is a founding member of the European Space Agency Topical Team on the Toxicity of Celestial Dust. In 2006 Dr Prisk joined the Department of Radiology developing and using quantitative functional techniques in MRI for physiological studies in the lung. This work focuses on techniques to measure ventilation, blood flow and their matching, the fundamental elements of pulmonary gas exchange. In conjunction with Dr John B. West he worked on validation studies of a non-invasive means of measuring the alveolar-arterial PO2 difference, and in conjunction with Dr Peter D. Wagner on the simultaneous quantification of shunt and alveolar dead space from measurements of expired gas and arterial blood.  He is an associate editor of the Journal of Applied Physiology. In 2007 Dr Prisk was made an honorary member of ANZSRS, an award of special significance to him.