Dr Nadia Maarouf

Dr Nadia Maarouf

MSc Clinical Pharmacology 2011 

Dr. Nadia Maarouf is a clinical research scientist, whose current work focuses on the unique intersection between astronautical science and cardiovascular research. 

Her academic achievements are extensive: she holds a PhD in Cardiac Sciences, an MSc in Clinical Pharmacology, and a BSc In Biomedical Sciences. Since graduating from Glasgow in 2011, Nadia has continued to push her field of expertise (quite literally) to infinity and beyond, as an astronaut-scientist candidate and analogue-astronaut with the Mars Society and the International Institute of Astronautical Sciences. In addition, she will join the upcoming Space Medicine Operations mission at the Mars Desert Research Station as a medical officer.  

If that wasn’t impressive enough, one key focus in her research is the link between cardiovascular health and space flight. It’s not something we hear about every day, but the link is shocking; according to Nadia “…there are parallels of space travel and vascular ageing: the cardiovascular system ages by (approximately) 20 years for each (approximate) sixth months spent in microgravity continuously”.  

In addition to the pressing need to solve this health issue before sending astronauts to Mars, the research will, in association, help uncover more about cardiovascular disease - the global leading cause of death and disability (according to the World Health Organisation in 2021). To summarise in Nadia’s words “It’s a win-win affair and I want to contribute to it”. 

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

In alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goal: Good Health and Well-being, Nadia’s medical space research is a rare insight into cardiovascular deconditioning countermeasures in space travels and its parallels to cardiovascular ageing and atherosclerosis on earth. Her research will, in turn, inform ways to tackle the global pandemic that is cardiovascular disease.  

In line with the Sustainable Cities and Communities goal, Nadia’s other project — the Remote Advanced Ambulatory Vital Sign Monitoring Project — is researching the use of biomedical technology to achieve autonomous healthcare monitoring in remote communities. The project aims to create a groundwork for remote healthcare services using technology such as smart shirts, which can help detect cardiovascular abnormalities earlier and with more precision. For those who have limited access to healthcare professionals, the hope is to create more personalised and effective countermeasures and/or prescriptions available from the comfort of their homes.