UCSD senior JR Bachman, first became interested in musculoskeletal pain and how to relieve it after his high school girlfriend, Becca, was injured in a car accident and received virtually no relief from traditional medicine and physical therapy. Fortunately, a friend trained in neuromuscular therapy gave her focused massage treatments that provided the relief from pain that Becca needed to get on with her life.
After witnessing this, Bachman, who was at the time planning on a career in computer science, decided to switch gears and begin studying neuromuscular therapy and exercise science. His primary goal: understanding the anatomy/physiology and effective treatment of musculoskeletal pain.
"My passion for understanding and doing my best to help others began with musculoskeletal pain," said Bachman, "But, over time, my interests have expanded to medical science and world health, as well as translational space medicine and biomedical research.
JR Bachman (with the Libraries' Catherine Friedman and Brian Schottlaender) after receiving the Libraries' Undergraduate Research Prize
Last year, Bachman, who will be graduating this June with a B.S. in Bioengineering with minors in Philosophy and Physics, was one of only four recipients of the UCSD Libraries Undergraduate Library Research Prize, which is awarded annually to students who demonstrate outstanding use of library resources and services in support of a major research project.
With Alan Hargens, a professor of orthopedic surgery as his advisor, Bach completed a research paper that explored bone blood flow regulation and its mechanisms: "Non-invasive Bone Blood Oxygenation Studies Using Near Infrared Technology."
"This research could have important clinical applications for understanding and treating osteoporosis and bone fractures," said Bachman, "and could aid in developing countermeasures for astronauts in long-duration space missions," said Bachman.
While Bachman initially resisted seeking the assistance of UCSD librarians in conducting his research, he said he came to appreciate the Libraries' comprehensive and reliable resources.
JR conducting research in the lab on non-invasive bone blood flow. His research will be presented in April at the IAA Humans in Space Symposium in Houston, TX.
"In the age of the Internet and Google, I initially thought it seemed old-fashioned to talk to librarians," said Bachman. "However, taking advantage of librarians and library resources proved to be the most productive approach to doing my research. I've discovered that the best online resource for beginning research is not Google but the UCSD Libraries' Web site."
Bachman, who had a successful practice as a neuromuscular and sports therapist before enrolling at UCSD in 2006, is a team leader with six other students in a parabolic flight proposal for the NASA Microgravity University. Bachman and his fellow team members were just recently informed that their proposal has been accepted by NASA, which will allow them to study the circulatory dynamics and intracranial pressure of astronauts. Every year, NASA accepts proposals from student teams to design, propose and fly an experiment aboard a parabolic flight, which produces short bouts of microgravity, or "weightlessness."
Bachman is also involved in space science education outreach efforts to a disadvantaged middle school near the border as well as at local K-12 science fairs and museum events. He also volunteers for the UCSD Chapter of the Flying Samaritans, a group that organizes monthly trips to a poor community in Ensenada to provide free medical care, supplies, and medicine.