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Julian E. Ward Memorial Award

June 28, 2019

Julian E. Ward Memorial Award

Established and sponsored by the Society of U.S. Air Force Flight Surgeons in memory of its first member to lose his life in an aircraft accident, and to honor all flight surgeons whose lives are lost in the pursuit of flying activities related to the practice of aerospace medicine. The award is given annually for superior performance and/or outstanding achievement in the art and science of aerospace medicine during residency training.

Moriah Thompson (center), accepts the Ward Memorial award from Patricia MacSparran (right), representing the Society of U.S. Air Force Flight Surgeons, and AsMA President Vermeiren (left).
   Moriah Thompson, M.D., M.P.H., received the 2019 Julian E. Ward Memorial Award in recognition of her superior performance as the chief resident of the Aerospace Medicine Residency Program at UTMB. She was appointed Chief Resident because of her organizational skills, her broad knowledge base, and her ability to inspire others. She was a key member of the winning team for the RAM Bowl 2018 and has been leading board study sessions for six other residents to prepare them for the RAM Bowl 2019. She also leads a monthly Journal Club for the residency, assigning topics and facilitating group discussion. As class lead for UTMB’s Masters-level course, “Principles of Aviation and Space Medicine”, she lectured on “Hypobaric Hypoxia” to 22 aeromedical students from 7 countries. Additionally, she worked to determine normal levels of intracranial pressure in astronauts, contributing to the understanding of Spaceflight Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome (SANS). She has also done work in the areas of hypobaric hypoxia and the establishment of shingles vaccination clinical practice guidelines and worked as a volunteer during Hurricane Harvey recovery.
   Dr. Thompson is originally from Houston, TX, and graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering in 2009. She began her involvement in the space sector as a researcher at the Space Engineering Institute studying non-toxic pretreatment alternatives for use on the International Space Station. She subsequently earned her medical degree at UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 2014. She completed a residency program in 2017 in Emergency Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, where she served as chief resident. She earned her M.P.H. at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, in 2018, and is currently in her final year of Aerospace Medicine Residency training there. She also serves part-time as an Emergency Medicine Physician at Clear Lake Regional Medical Center in Webster, TX. She has participated in the Pathways Internship program at NASA-Johnson Space Center since 2012, and has been involved in a number of research projects in the field of aerospace medicine ranging from hypobaric hypoxia exposure to spacesuit glove-related injury.
   Dr. Thompson is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Society of Women Engineers, where she has been and Executive Secretary and then President of the Texas A&M University Section, and the Aerospace Medicine Student & Resident Organization, where she served as Outreach Committee Chair. Her awards and honors include Outstanding Pathways Intern Award from NASA-Johnson Space Center, Outstanding Student Award from the Society of NASA Flight Surgeons, Residency Service and Outstanding Resident Research Innovation Awards from Mayo Clinic Emergency Medicine, and the Jeffrey R. Davis Aerospace Medicine Endowed and Stanley R. Mohler Aerospace Medicine Endowed Scholarships from AsMA. She has also been a Texas A&M Terry Scholar, a NASA Student Ambassador, and is a Mayo Clinic Quality Academy Gold Quality Fellow.