Princeton Profiles: Maya Mishra, aiming to serve in space

Junior Maya Mishra is pursuing a career in aerospace medicine. In this video, filmed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she discusses how she is following her passions for medicine, space and service at Princeton.

A NASA internship changed the trajectory of junior Maya Mishra's life.

During that summer before her senior year of high school, Mishra realized that she could combine her interests in medicine, space and service in the field of aerospace medicine. Mishra is now an ecology and evolutionary biology major at Princeton, pursuing certificates in global health and health policy and planets and life. She also participates in the Service Focus program, which combines service and academic work through internships, a peer cohort, faculty mentorship and coursework. In the video above, filmed before the COVID-19 pandemic, she discusses her motivation.

"Helping each other is just so human," Mishra said. "It's biologically kind of coded into us."

Through these pursuits, she is deepening her commitment to the path of becoming an astronaut and flight surgeon, so that she can practice medicine and conduct research in space.

"We've seen lots of implications for aging, for stress research," Mishra said. "As we continue to investigate human body in space, we'll find a ton of ways that aerospace medicine will have an impact back on Earth."