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Human Biology and Medicine (JEGHBM)

The Joint SCAR-COMNAP Expert Group on Human Biology and Medicine (JEGHBM) was established and had its first meeting at SCAR COMNAP Portland Oregon, USA in 2012. The group continues to serve as a forum to develop best practices for safe, healthy, efficient and effective management in healthcare and in the support of scientific research in Antarctica.

The JEGHBM includes members, nominees, from National programs and Antarctic nations and associate members with bilateral and multilateral research collaborations and linkages. Importantly membership includes membership of space agencies including NASA and ESA given the recognition of Antarctic operational medicine and research as a proven space analogue.

The JEGHBM also includes membership from ICS Unions, IUPS (Physiological Sciences), IUPsyS(Psychological sciences and also linkages to International Union of Circumpolar Health. In 2012 JEGHBM engaged with and nominated a member to APECS.

The JEGHBM has interdisciplinary disciplinary interests across life science and biology and has offered further collaboration

The Expert Group on Human Biology and Medicine Group is a joint group with COMNAP.  ​

The Group draws on a vast pool of international experience consisting of doctors, psychologists and human physiologists and biologists who are actively engaged in medicine support and medical and biomedical research in the Antarctic, as well as linkages to the Arctic, Space Medicine, and other areas where healthcare is undertaken in remote and austere environments.

For further details see the MedicalAntarctica website.

Terms of Reference

The two key terms of references for the SCAR COMNAP JEGHBM highlight the critical linkages between SCAR and COMNAP and operational and research activities:

1. The JEGHBM will report to SCAR through the Life Sciences Group, working to further international cooperation and collaboration in basic and applied research on and healthcare of humans in Antarctica (e.g. biomedical sciences, social and behavioural sciences, and medicine) and to promote international co-operation in these fields.

2. The JEGHBM will work with COMNAP to further international cooperation and will work to improve healthcare in Antarctica and to facilitate human health and well being in this environment. The group will propose relevant areas of interest to COMNAP.

The group's Rules of Procedure are as follows:

  1. The group will report to SCAR through the Life Sciences Group, and to COMNAP through its Vice President for Health.
  2. Membership of the group will be deliberately wide to encourage maximum international and inter-organisational cooperation in the relevant fields.
  3. Full (voting) members of the group will be either:
    1. Nominated by SCAR national committees, and approved by the SCAR Executive.
    2. Nominated by National Antarctic Programmes and approved by COMNAP Executive.
    3. Nominated by the relevant Scientific Unions of the International Council for Science (ICSU) or other appropriate international organizations (e.g. IUCH), and approved by the SCAR or COMNAP Executive as appropriate.
    4. There will be one vote per nation from SCAR nominations and one per nation from COMNAP nominations.  Where the same person is nominated by both organisations as their national representative, that person may have two votes.
    5. The full members of the group will elect from among its members an executive consisting of a Chairman, a Deputy Chairman (Chairman designate), and a Secretary. The term of office will be 4 years, staggered where possible to allow continuity. The elected officers will be proposed to SCAR and COMNAP executives for confirmation.