Judith Hayes was born and raised in Hope, New
Jersey. She earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science, both in
exercise physiology from West Virginia University in 1982 and 1983,
respectively, followed by a Master of Public Health in Occupational Health/Aerospace
Medicine from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in 1995. In 2002,
she completed a joint summer fellowship appointment at The Royal College of
Surgeons of England and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
supporting epidemiologic research in the development of clinical practice
guidelines for the National Health Service in the United Kingdom.
Judy currently serves as the NASA Chief of the Biomedical Research and Environmental Sciences Division at the Johnson Space Center (JSC). She came to JSC in 1984 as a research scientist in the Neurosciences Laboratory and has since served the space life sciences community in many capacities as a scientist and manager. She has worked at JSC in both research and clinical operations associated with space physiology and medicine for more than 30 years as a government contractor and NASA civil servant.
She established the JSC Exercise Physiology Laboratory in 1987. She was principle investigator on two Space Shuttle experiments studying the effects of microgravity on skeletal muscle performance in astronauts. During her career she managed the JSC space physiology laboratories, space life sciences Reduced Gravity Program, Space Medicine Project, and integration of biomedical activities for the Space Shuttle, Russian Mir-Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) programs. In addition to JSC, she managed NASA laboratories in Russia to support astronaut biomedical testing for Mir and ISS missions, interfacing with specialists at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City and the Moscow Institute of Biomedical Problems.
Judy works closely with NASA’s international partners in Russia, Japan, Canada and Europe to implement biomedical practices in space and has negotiated international contracts with the Japanese (JAXA), European (ESA), and Canadian (CSA) space agencies to provide them ISS medical certification tests and experiment support. She currently serves on the International Exercise Countermeasures Working Group which develops global requirements for space exercise and research of other preventative treatments to assure astronaut health and performance during human space exploration.
Judy also is the Director of the NASA Space Life Sciences Summer Institute at JSC, an educational series for summer interns, undergraduate, graduate and medical students. She has published papers and book chapters related to spaceflight exercise physiology and operations. She has served as a guest lecturer for graduate programs at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and the University of Texas School of Public Health, as well as various training programs for NASA flight surgeons and astronaut candidates.
Judy is a member of the Aerospace Medical Association, American College of Sports Medicine and Rice University-Texas Medical Center Chapter of Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society. She recently was elected to the Executive Committee for the AsMA Space Medicine Association.
Judy maintains strong ties with West Virginia University. She was a member of WVU’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences (CPASS) Visiting Committee from 2005-2014, where she served as Chair in 2012-2014. Judy was selected as the 2004 commencement speaker at the West Virginia University School of Medicine graduation ceremony for the Department of Exercise Physiology.
She is the recipient of several awards for research and management activities associated with her work at NASA, including the prestigious Silver Snoopy presented by the NASA Astronauts in recognition of her contributions to mission success. Judy, a life member of the WVU Alumni Association, was inducted into the WVU CPASS Hall of Fame in 2009 and selected as CPASS’s Outstanding Alumnus in 2013.