WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - A Purdue University professor is taking a leave of absence to become director of NASA's Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications Division.
The Journal & Courier reports Marshall Porterfield will take a leave of absence of two to three years. He's a professor of agricultural and biological engineering and biomedical engineering.
Porterfield called it an amazing opportunity, saying what the program accomplishes will determine the direction of human exploration in the future.
Porterfield will oversee four program areas: fundamental space biology, physical sciences, human research programs and the International Space Station laboratory. He also will be liaison between NASA and the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Porterfield also plans to continue research programs at Purdue.