Dr. Jim Vanderploeg has been a Medical Review Officer since 1989 and currently provides advisory MRO services for WorkforceQA. He has been certified by the Medical Review Officer Certification Council as long as certification has been offered. He recently completed service on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. In addition, he has over 40 years of experience in aerospace medicine with a career spanning medical support for the NASA Space Shuttle program, serving as Chief Medical Officer for Virgin Galactic, and clinical practice of civilian aviation medicine. He is Adjunct Professor of Aerospace Medicine in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. His previous work included Executive Director and Principal Investigator on multiple research projects of the FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation; evaluation of airline pilots seeking special issuance authorization for medical certification following recovery from medical or psychological problems; and training physicians in the specialty of aerospace medicine. As Virgin Galactic’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Vanderploeg was responsible for developing and implementing the medical programs for spaceflight participants, Virgin Galactic pilots, and other employees. Most recently he has advised Virgin Galactic in the response to COVID-19 including the use of virus and antibody testing to help return employees safely to the work site.
Dr. Vanderploeg is President of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine, Past President of the Aerospace Medical Association, an FAA Senior Aviation Medical Examiner, and is Board Certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine in both Aerospace Medicine and Occupational Medicine. He has numerous publications, including medical results from research using centrifuge exposure to simulate the G forces of a suborbital space flight.