LAS2023 Keynote Speakers

Strona Polskiego Towarzystwa Astrobiologicznego.

Meet our Keynote Speakers!

Space Mission Manager
Artur B. Chmielewski

Art B. Chmielewski plans future space missions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) – a NASA Center in Pasadena, California. He has participated in 15 space missions and held almost every possible space job at NASA. He built space instruments for Mars rovers, installed nuclear generators on deep-space spacecraft, designed billion-dollar space missions to the most unique destinations of our solar system, developed new technologies, and organized a lab to build a space telescope the size of a football stadium. He managed the missions that traveled to the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn and landed on a comet. He worked on getting images of cryo-volcanoes, black holes, and extrasolar planets.


Art was also a consultant to Hollywood movies, designed space sculptures, and gave lectures at some of the most prestigious colleges around the world. He is a recipient of 5 NASA medals, 7 JPL awards, and numerous Polish awards.


In Poland he is also known as the son of Papcio Chmiel – famous for the cartoon series “Tytus, Romek i A’Tomek” and an author of a just-published book “Dare Mighty Things” (Odważ się robić wielkie rzeczy) which was a #1 bestseller in Poland.

Prof. Jane Greaves

I studied at Oxford and London Universities, worked as a Staff Scientist for the UK’s international telescopes, and then moved via research fellowships at Edinburgh and St Andrews to my current Professorship at Cardiff University in Wales.

Francine Garrett-Bakelman, PhD


Francine Garrett-Bakelman, M.D., PhD., is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Dr. Garrett-Bakelman is a Hematologist/ Oncologist studying molecularand cellular biology events in disease establishment and progression and genetic changes in Acute Myeloid Leukemia. She received her BS degree in biochemistry at California State University, Fullerton, completed her MD and PhD training at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and completed her post-doctoral training at Weill Cornell Medicine. In her role as an instructor at Weill Cornell Medicine, she was a co-investigator on a grant awarded to Dr. Christopher Mason to investigate the effects of a one-year space station mission on human molecular biology and physiology. This study provides a basis to assess the hazards of long- term space habitation. She is a lead author of the NASA Twins Study original scientific report and contributing author to several follow up studies utilizing data from the NASA Twins study since, and will be presenting aspects of this work.

Barbara Belvisi

Barbara Belvisi is an entrepreneur passionate about space, hardware, biology and AI. She started her career in finance: from Private Equity to Venture Capital, to work closer with entrepreneurs. After investing and acting as CFO for several hardware startups, she cofounded Hardware Club (now HCVC) to invest and support “those who build the world.” She also participated in the launch of several innovation programs like Hello Tomorrow. In 2017, she left her investor career and started learning engineering and architecture. Driven by her childhood passion for nature and space, she spent a year with NASA engineers prior to launching Interstellar Lab in 2018. The company focuses on preserving life on Earth and expanding it in space. To do so, they develop controlled-environment modules for sustainable farming on Earth and life-support in space. They work with large cosmetics, natural ingredients and food companies to improve their supply chain. They are also part of several space programs to grow food in space including NASA DSFC phase I & II and ESA BSGN. Barbara is Top 10 Women in Tech in France, Top 100 Forbes in Europe, Best Innovator 2022, Choiseul 100 in France, Prix Janus 2023, and BOLD Award 2023.