2022 PAUL BERT AWARD
2022: Dr. Ryan Mayes
Dr. Mayes's career entails a litany of research where he investigated or had technical oversight that directly explained previously unexplained physiological events. He founded and led a plethora of multi-service and international summits to mitigate physiological events. Dr. Mayes serves as the Senior Technical Advisor & Senior Aeromedical Scientist for the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM). Dr. Mayes served as the lead analyst for the USAF F-22 Task Force to explain physiological episodes in the F-22 fleet. His coordination and research on this project corrected the work of breathing issues to end the fleet-wide stand-down. Additionally, he spearheaded the implementation of real-time oximetry and performance task sensors to measure the impact of the flying environment on performance. Revelations from Dr. Mayes's research include discerning a 35 percent reduction in cerebral perfusion after subjects breathe 100% oxygen for 30 minutes, bio-markers of fatigue after flying, and aircrew flight equipment interactions to identify sources of resistance within aircrew breathing systems.
In his current capacity, Dr. Mayes has technical oversight of the $10 million dollars a year Studies and Analysis Portfolio at USAFSAM. Additionally, Dr. Mayes has profoundly enhanced flight safety for DoD and NATO partner military aircrew by establishing and maintaining forums for aircrew, scientists, government agencies, and suppliers to collaborate and solve physiological issues. Dr. Mayes founded and chairs the Characterizing and Optimizing the Physiological Environment for Fighters (COPE-Fighter) meeting and is the Academic Director for the NATO-Ramstein Flight Medicine Summit. COPE has directly resulted in multiple impacts on the tactical aviation community, including numerous funded research projects, operator briefs on Physiological Events, Dash-1 changes to improve safety, and updates and standardization to mishap response. He is also the chair for multiple NATO exploratory topics to include Unexplained Physiologic Incidents in High-Performance Aircraft, and Evidence-Based Aerospace Medicine. Furthermore, Dr. Mayes set up the first its kind Joint working group to provide enhanced support for female aircrew.
The Paul Bert Award recognizes outstanding research contributions in aerospace physiology. This award was established in 1969 and was originally given for achievement in operational physiology. It is named in honor of the famous French physiologist, Paul Bert, the “Father of Pressure Physiology.” Nominees will be considered for research covering the previous five year period. Limit the nomination to two or three major research contributions. The Award committee considers unrecognized nominations from the past 3 years, though it is strongly recommended that those nominations be updated annually in writing. Research areas may range from basic science to research in highly applied areas of aerospace physiology. KBR currently sponsors the Paul Bert Award.