The Institute of Aerospace Medicine can report two successful disputations also in the times of Covid-19: Both Felix Fuchs, until recently part of the Department of Radiation Biology, and Darius Gerlach from the Department of Cardiovascular Aerospace Medicine were able to conclude their disputation on 13.5.2020 with magna cum laude. Congratulations on this achievement to both of them!
Dr. Felix Fuchs with supervisor Prof. Dr. Ralf Möller
Felix Fuchs, doctoral student of the second SpaceLife generation, successfully completed his doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.) at the Georg August University of Göttingen on 13 May 2020. The subject of the disputation was the results of his doctoral thesis "B. subtilis biofilm formation under extreme terrestrial and simulated extraterrestrial conditions", which he completed at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine in the Department of Radiation Biology under Prof. Dr. Ralf Möller (Head of Space Microbiology).
Due to the Covid-19 situation, the appointment planned for April was cancelled and could only be carried out one month later with the exclusion of guests. The usual celebrations with friends and family had to be cancelled. Felix Fuchs defended his thesis to a five-member examination board, after which there was no handshake or pat on the back due to the rules of distance and hygiene. In Göttingen, it is actually a tradition that the Doctoral candidates are processed in a march from the University to the Göttingen Town Hall. On the square there is the "Gänseliesel", a bronze statue, which is presented with flowers after successful completion and is then kissed. Without a procession, but equipped with flowers, Felix Fuchs still followed the tradition and kissed, despite Covid-19, the eternally young Gänseliesel (see photo). The celebration is made up for.
Darius Gerlach from the Department of Cardiovascular Aerospace Medicine also successfully defended his dissertation entitled "Arterial baroreflex assessed with pharmacological testing during functional MRI of the human brainstem" with magna cum laude. He received his Dr. rer. nat. from the Hannover Medical School, whose Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology was involved in the project together with the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine. Scientific supervision was provided by Univ.-Prof. Dr. phil. nat. Florian Beissner and Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Jens Tank.
Darius Gerlach with his supervisors Prof. Dr. phil. nat. Florian Beissner and Prof. Dr. med. Jens Tank
Darius Gerlach's disputation due to the COVID-19 pandemic also took place in camera. In addition, due to the minimal operation of DLR, it was necessary to wait for the end of the business trip ban, so that the disputation could also take place on 13 May 2020 in Hanover.
The cumulative doctoral thesis of Darius Gerlach deals with the basics of arterial blood pressure regulation in humans. The aim was to investigate the autonomous regulation in the brain, in particular in the brain stem, using high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). For this purpose, an experimental set-up was developed outside the MRI to determine the individual baroreflex under the influence of hypoxia. To investigate blood pressure regulation at the level of the human brain stem in the MRI environment, a new approach to pharmacological Baroreflex testing as well as continuous systolic blood pressure measurement at the finger was developed. The work demonstrated a study of baroreflex regulation at the brainstem level in humans, which may provide deeper insights into human baroreflex physiology and pathophysiology and contribute to the understanding of cardiovascular disease.