European Low Gravity Research Association

ELGRA medal

The ELGRA medal is attributed every two years by the ELGRA Management Committee to members for their exceptional services to our community and / or outstanding scientists in the field of microgravity life sciences, physical sciences and technology. Persons who received the ELGRA medal are:

Year

Name

Research field

Motivation

December 1994

Prof. Ignacio Da Riva (post mortem)

Physical sciences

Founding member of ELGRA. Da Riva was one of the very first investigators to use and to study the microgravity environment even before the availability of the advanced modern spacecrafts.

December 1994

Dr. John Padday

Physical sciences

Founding member of ELGRA and outstanding work in capillarity.

March 1997

Dr. Yves Malmejac

Cristallisation, solidification

Founding member of ELGRA, president of ELGRA (1993-1995), participated in setting up the microgravity program at ESA, remarkable contributions to space research.

March 1997

Prof. Hubert Planel

Space biology and medicine

Vice-president of ELGRA. Pioneer in space biology/medicine/radiation biology with remarkable contributions to this field.

March 1999

Prof. Aristide Scano

Space medicine

Outstanding work in space medicine.

September 2001

Prof. Julius Siekmann

Fluid dynamics

For about 30 years he devoted most of his activity to microgravity research, contributed significantly to field of fluid dynamics.

September 2001

Dr. Wolfgang Briegleb

Space biology

Already in the early 60es he recognized the need to study the influence of weightlessness on living cells and devoted most of his work to the study of the slime mold Physarum polycephalum and the unicellular organism Paramecium under different gravity conditions.

April 2003

Dr. Lewis Gregory Briarty

Gravitational biology

For 20 years he studied the microgravity effects on plant cell growth and development. For more than 10 years he organized a summer school in Space biology.

September 2005

Dr. Augusto Cogoli

Gravitational biology

ELGRA member since the beginning, many years member of the management committee and ELGRA president from 1986-1989. His investigations on the influence of gravity changes on immune cells are outstanding.

September 2005

Prof. Johannes Straub

Physical sciences

Received medal for a pioneering and world-recognized accomplishment in critical point and boiling phenomena under microgravity.
September 2007
Prof. Gerard Perbal
Gravitational biology
Prof. Perbal (Univ. Pierre & Marie Curie, Paris) performed his first space experiment on Lentil roots in the ESA Biorack facility during the Shuttle D1 flight. A series of experiments followed on the IML-1 looking at g-threshold and IML-2 more focused on cell cycle. In Shuttle-to-Mir missions (SMM-03, 05, 06) he and his co-workers developed the hypothesis that statoliths are attached to actin filaments by myosin motor proteins. His most recent experiment was on the ISS in the European Modular Cultivation System, EMCS. Prof. Perbal, who was also ELGRA president from 1995-1997, received the ELGRA medal for his elaborate contributions to the field of gravisensing.
September 2007
Dr. Jan Vreeburg
Fluid Sciences
Dr. Vreeburg was one of the earliest European scientists who designed projects and facilities for microgravity fluid research in space. He was mission scientist for MASER 1-4, science team coordinator for the physical science on the DELTA-Soyuz Mission, and lead investigator for Sloshsat FLEVO. Dr. Vreeburg has served on various advisory committees of ESA and has been president of ELGRA from 1989 till 1993. The ELGRA medal is awarded to him in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the microgravity-science community.
September 2009
Prof. Dag Linnarsson
Human Physiology
Prof.dr. Linnarsson (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden). His main interest regarding gravitational physiology is in the human pulmonary system, its function and adapatation to altered gravity conditions. During his career Prof. Linnarsson has been in various spaceflight related advisory boards such as the ESA Life Sciences Working Group, Swedish Astronaut Selection Comm., ISS Utilization Panel and ESF-ESSC. He is also in the Board of Trustees, International Academy of Astronautics and member of the ESA topical teams on Artificial Gravity and the Human Hypergravity Habitat. Currently, he is the Group Leader of the Environmental Physiology group at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. The group has various projects involving mainly research on the pulmonary system, its function under different environmental conditions, such as under altered gravity, both hypo- and hyper-gravity.
September 2009
Dr.Ing. Alberto Passerone
Fluid Sciences
Dr. Ing. Alberto Passerone, has a recognized expertise in the study of physico-chemical characteristics of interfaces, with a particular reference to the measurement of surface and interfacial tensions in liquid-vapour, liquid-liquid and solid-liquid interfaces, both at room temperature and in the high temperature range. He made specific contributions to the understanding of faceting transitions in liquid-solid metallic systems and to the calculation of their interfacial tension, to the dependence of surface tension on oxygen partial pressure. During his carreer he served as the director of the CNR ICFAM institute, deputy director of the Genoa IENI Unit, president of the ESA Microgravity Advisory Committee and as a member of the Scientific Council of the Italian Space Agency, ASI. He served also as ELGRA General Secretary from 1987 to 1992 and as the ELGRA vice-president from 1993 to 1996.
September 2011

Prof. Dr. J. C. Legros

Profile

 Physical Sciences
 
September 2011

Dr. Enno Brinckmann

Profile

 Life Sciences
 
September 2013
Daniel Beysens
CRITICAL POINT IN SPACE: A QUEST FOR UNIVERSALITY
The behaviour of matter near a 2nd order phase transition is expected to obey universal features. In particular, fluids, liquid mixtures… which belong to the same class of universality (the class of fluids) should exhibit the same universal scaling laws for many thermodynamics and kinetic parameters. Critical point slowing down is the most notorious.  Such divergence or convergence makes the class of fluids extremely sensitive to even minute external disturbances and especially gravity, which makes the fluid on earth compressed under its own weight. Compensating for these effects by space experiments and/or magnetic forces or isotopic density matching has led to enlarge our vision of universality for phase transition. New phenomena have been discovered by compensating gravity effects, as the thermal “Piston Effect”, which leads to a paradoxical “critical point speeding up” and the apparent violation of the 2nd thermodynamic law. Due to the extreme sensitivity of fluids near the critical point, the effect of vibration and its possible use as an artificial gravity in space can be studied in much details, using only one fluid that represent the whole class of fluids.  New thermo- and capillary-vibrational effects are found that support this conjecture of vibration-induced gravity effects.
September 2013
Marianne Cogoli-Greuter
THE LYMPHOCYTE STORY
Since the first flight of humans into space it is known that space flight conditions affect the immune system; especially a weakening of the reactivity of T lymphocytes after flight is observed. In an in vitro experiment, flown by Augusto Cogoli in Spacelab 1 in 1983, the activation of T lymphocytes was found to be strongly inhibited (by > 90%) in real microgravity. This surprising result triggered extended investigations in space and on the ground by us and other research teams.In vitro activation of T lymphocytes mimics an infection that can occur in vivo, e.g. during a flue disease. T cells are that subpopulation of lymphocytes responsible of the activation of the specific immune system. The mechanism of T-cell activation is very complex; 3 different signals are required as well as interaction between T lymphocytes and monocytes. Cell motility based on a continuous rearrangement of the cytoskeletal network within the cell is essential for cell-cell contacts.The objective of all our experiments performed on different platforms in space as well as in the clinostat on ground was to understand and explain the dysfunction of the cell activation under microgravity conditions. On sounding rockets we have studied the influence of microgravity on the delivery of the first signal, the motility of lymphocytes as well as changes in the cytoskeletal structure and early gene expression. On long term missions we investigated many aspects of the delivery of the 2nd and 3rd signal, including motility and aggregate formation of lymphocytes, interaction of lymphocytes with monocytes, motility of monocytes and changes in different cytoskeletal structures. Many aspects of the in-vitro activation have also been studied on ground in modelled microgravity (clinostat).
September 2015

 Rupert Gerzer, M.D., Prof. Dr., Director

profile

 Life Sciences
 
September 2015

Prof. Dr. Dr. hc Günter Frohberg

profile

Physical Sciences