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Biographical Data


portrait of Mae Jemison

Mae C. Jemison (M.D.)
NASA Astronaut (former)

PERSONAL DATA: Born October 17, 1956, in Decatur, Alabama, but considers Chicago, Illinois, to be her hometown. Recreational interests include traveling, graphic arts, photography, sewing, skiing, collecting African Art, languages (Russian, Swahili, Japanese), weight training, has an extensive dance and exercise background and is an avid reader. Her parents, Charlie & Dorothy Jemison, reside in Chicago.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Morgan Park High School, Chicago, Illinois, in 1973; received a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering (and fulfilled the requirements for a B.A. in African and Afro-American Studies) from Stanford University in 1977, and a doctorate degree in medicine from Cornell University in 1981.

ORGANIZATIONS: Member, American Chemical Society, Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of Space Explorers. Honorary Member, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Board Member, World Sickle Cell Foundation, American Express Geography Competition. Honorary Board Member, Center for the Prevention of Childhood Malnutrition. Clinical Teaching Associate, University of Texas Medical Center.

SPECIAL HONORS: National Achievement Scholarship (1973-1977); Stanford representative to Carifesta '76 in Jamaica; 1979 CIBA Award for Student Involvement; American Medical Student Association (AMSA) study group to Cuba; grant from International Travelers Institute for health studies in rural Kenya (1979); organized New York city-wide health and law fair for National Student Medical Association (1979); worked refugee camp in Thailand (1980). Recipient of Essence Award (1988), and Gamma Sigma Gamma Woman of the Year (1989). Honorary Doctorate of Sciences, Lincoln College, Pennsylvania (1991). Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Winston Salem College, North Carolina (1991). DuSable Museum Award (1992). The Mae C. Jemison Academy, an alternate public school established in 1992 in Detroit, Michigan. Montgomery Fellow 1993 Dartmouth College.

EXPERIENCE: Dr. Jemison has a background in both engineering and medical research. She has worked in the areas of computer programming, printed wiring board materials, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, computer magnetic disc production, and reproductive biology.

Dr. Jemison completed her internship at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center in July 1982 and worked as a General Practitioner with INA/Ross Loos Medical Group in Los Angeles until December 1982.

From January 1983 through June 1985, Dr. Jemison was the Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa. Her task of managing the health care delivery system for U.S. Peace Corps and U.S. Embassy personnel included provision of medical care, supervision of the pharmacy and laboratory, medical administrative issues, and supervision of medical staff. She developed curriculum and taught volunteer personal health training, wrote manuals for self-care, developed and implemented guidelines for public health/safety issues for volunteer job placement and training sites. Dr. Jemison developed and participated in research projects on Hepatitis B vaccine, schistosomaisis and rabies in conjunction with the National Institute of Health and the Center for Disease Control.

On return to the United States, Dr. Jemison joined CIGNA Health Plans of California in October 1985 and was working as a General Practitioner and attending graduate engineering classes in Los Angeles when selected to the astronaut program.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Dr. Jemison was selected for the astronaut program in June 1987. Her technical assignments since then have included: launch support activities at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida; verification of Shuttle computer software in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); Science Support Group activities.

Dr. Jemison was the science mission specialist on STS-47 Spacelab-J (September 12-20, 1992). STS-47 was a cooperative mission between the United States and Japan. The eight-day mission was accomplished in 127 orbits of the Earth, and included 44 Japanese and U.S. life science and materials processing experiments. Dr. Jemison was a co-investigator on the bone cell research experiment flown on the mission. The Endeavour and her crew launched from and returned to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In completing her first space flight, Dr. Jemison logged 190 hours, 30 minutes, 23 seconds in space.

Dr. Jemison left NASA in March 1993.

MARCH 1993

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