National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
NAME: Mae C. Jemison (M.D.)
- NASA Astronaut
- Born October 17, 1956, in Decatur, Alabama, but considers
Chicago, Illinois, to be her hometown. Her parents, Charlie & Dorothy Jemison,
reside in Chicago.
- Black hair; brown eyes; 5 feet 9 inches; 140 pounds.
- Graduated from Morgan Park High School, Chicago, Illinois, in
1973; received a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from
Stanford University in 1977 (also fulfilled the requirements for a B.A. in
African and Afro-American Studies), and a doctorate in medicine degree from
Cornell University in 1981.
- She enjoys 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
- Member, American Medical Association and American Chemical
Society. Honorary member, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; Member, Association for
the Advancement of Science; Board Member, World Sickle Cell Foundation;
Honorary Board Member, Center for the Prevention of Childhood Malnutrition.
- 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).
- 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 evaluation of trophic factors for rat epididymides.
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 thru 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 for 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
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
- Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in June 1987, Dr.
Jemison completed a one-year training and evaluation program in August 1988.
She is qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on Space Shuttle flight
crews. Her technical assignments to date have included: astronaut office
representative to the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, which
involved participation in the processing of the Space Shuttle for launch,
especially its payloads and thermal protection system (tiles), and launch
countdown; work in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL)
performing verification of Shuttle computer software.
- Dr. Jemison is assigned as a mission specialist on STS-47,
Spacelab-J. This cooperative mission between the United States and Japan, to
conduct experiments in life sciences and materials processing, is scheduled for
launch in September 1992.
ARCHIVAL BIOGRAPHY LAST UPDATED MAY 1992
Click here to return to the
SPACE EDUCATORS' HANDBOOK HOME PAGE.