Kira Bacal, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.

Acting Head of Programme
University of Auckland

Fellowship Profile

Fellowship Year: 2004-2005
Fellowship Placement: Sen Hatch (R-UT)
Sponsoring Institution: University of Texas
Disciplines / Professions: Emergency Medicine, Public Health


Kira Bacal, M.D, Ph. D., M.P.H., is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas and previously worked for the Office of Medical Informatics and Health Care Systems at NASA-Johnson Space Center as the Chief Clinical Consultant. She also served as the Clinical Lead for the Clinical Systems Development group at Wyle Laboratories and worked as an emergency medicine physician in Houston, Texas. Dr. Bacal earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Biology from Amherst College, a Ph. D in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and an M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine, and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Texas. She also spent a year in the masters program at Harvard Divinity School. Dr. Bacal holds specialty boards in both emergency medicine and aerospace medicine, and has taught in numerous venues. During her work at NASA, Dr. Bacal developed a concept of contingency medical operations for the International Space Station and guided the development of a database linking potential on-orbit medical conditions with their associated medical resources, diagnostic tools, and treatment protocols as well as an electronic interface for emergency triage and initial stabilization of on-orbit medical emergencies. She provides consultation to international, national, and regional groups on the design of medical systems for the operational environment. Dr. Bacal is the co-investigator of the Medical Operations Support Team, a National Space Biomedical Research Institute-funded program which utilizes medical simulation and other novel training and informatics techniques to improve operational training for the NASA Office of Space Medicine. She has a particular interest in medical preparedness, bioterrorism, trauma care, and aeromedical transport. The author of numerous articles, Dr. Bacal also participates in international medical missions.