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NIAC Associate Director


Associate Director Diana E. Jennings brings a broad background in life sciences, including general biology, computational neuroscience, and space biology, to the NIAC team. Prior to joining NIAC, Dr. Jennings directed the Center for Advanced Studies in the Space Life Sciences (CASSLS) at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), a think-tank for NASA’s life sciences programs. In this capacity she supported numerous workshops in areas including biomimetics, space biology, evolutionary biology, cell biology and policy. White papers and peer-reviewed publications produced by CASSLS served to guide NASA in setting research directions. At the MBL, Dr. Jennings organized and supported a unique training in life sciences research for astronauts. In the 1990s, Dr. Jennings was Associate Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. For nearly five years she developed and administered programs in undergraduate and graduate science education, and supported the development of research resources for faculty. From 1990-1994 Dr. Jennings held post-doctoral appointments as a research associate and lecturer at Yale University. There she conducted research in behavioral and computational neuroscience, and lectured in neuroscience.

  • B.S. Psychology, Neuroscience Track, Magna cum laude, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1984
  • Ph.D., Neuroscience and Behavior, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1990

Dr. Jennings has authored or coauthored a dozen articles and book chapters in the life sciences as well as numerous abstracts, proceedings, and white papers.


Dr. Jennings is a member of AAAS, the Society for Neuroscience, and the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology. National Research Service Award 1991-1993. University of Massachusetts Graduate Fellowship. Phi Beta Kappa, Nu Chapter.