Like A Girl: Dare To Dream presents

Donna Roberts, M.D.


Dr. Donna Roberts is a neuroradiologist in the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science at MUSC. In her position, Dr. Roberts works with NASA to research how spaceflight alters the brain.

Dr. Roberts is a graduate of Clemson University, where she majored in computer engineering. After working as an engineer at Texas Instruments in Dallas, she decided to return to graduate school at the University of Colorado in Boulder for a master’s degree in electrical engineering. That degree took her to Lockheed Engineering and Sciences Company, where her role supported the NASA Life Sciences Division at NASA Headquarters.

Her research programs aimed to understand how to keep astronauts safe and healthy during space missions, but she discovered there were no studies of human brain function in spaceflight. She wanted to study the brain, so she attended the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Medical School, completed a residency in Radiology at MUSC, then a fellowship in Neuroradiology at the University of California San Francisco.

Today, her studies investigate how the brain changes during extended stays in microgravity and ways to keep it healthy for long periods, such as traveling to Mars or living at a lunar base.