Submission from Dr Jagtar Singh Nijjar
My name is Dr Jagtar Singh Nijjar and I am a
Foundation Year One Doctor based at Hairmyres Hospital in East
Kilbride, Glasgow. I have had an active interest in Space medicine
and human spaceflight from an early age and during my medical
career have had the chance to carry out the Aerospace medicine
clerkship in NASA, attend three space medicine conferences and
become involved in space medicine research in Glasgow University.
My background includes the Brunton and Robert
Fullarton prizes for the most distinguished student to graduate
from the University of Glasgow in the academic year 2005-06 as
well as graduating joint top of my intercalated BSc yeargroup.
I have publications in the field of rheumatology and have an interest
in general medical research with a focus on the areas of rheumatology
and also space medicine, specifically the effect of space flight
on the human body with respect to orthostatic intolerance.
Following my experience at the Kennedy Space
Center, I became more interested in carrying out basic and clinical
space medicine research. However the current UK space policy does
not support a human programme and by doing so is putting not just
researchers such as myself at a disadvantage but the whole of
the UK. Countries move forward by discovery, research and innovation.
The current policy is stifling the ability of the UK to compete
in this scientific field with other countries and also to inspire
the next generation of youngsters who will become this country's
future scientists, doctors and astronauts.
By supporting human space flight you as a government
would be encouraging novel thought, developing technology and
also allowing knowledge transfer between the fields of basic and
applied sciences including both engineering and biology. I would
urge you to reconsider the UK policy for not supporting human
space flight because we are at a crucial point where both clinicians
and scientists are showing strong interest and could through support
from government elevate the UK's status in terms of space medicine
research. In other research fields the UK is a strong competitor
compared to the US, for example, and with the support of yourselves
I believe you will be able to inspire people such as myself to
take this field forward and to become world renowned in this area.