OSIRIS-REx Speaker Biographies

Dr. Jason Dworkin
Jason Dworkin was a high school intern for Professor John Oró at the University of Houston where he studied prebiotic syntheses of metabolic intermediated.  He received his A.B. degree in Biochemistry from Occidental College. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego, where he worked on uracil analogs for the origin of life with Professor Stanley L. Miller. After a post-doctoral fellowship with Louis Allamandola at NASA Ames Research Center on synthesizing prebiotic membranes from interstellar precursors he joined the Astrochemistry Branch at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and founded the Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory.  He is now Chief of Astrochemistry at Goddard.

His research interests focus around using analytical chemistry to explore the organic compounds present in meteorites for the origin and early evolution of life on Earth or elsewhere. Dr. Dworkin’s research uses biochemical and geochemical techniques to probe the chemical, isotopic, and chiral composition of classes of organic compounds in meteorites and lab and field analogs to extraterrestrial environments.  These studies have led to the first amino acid, purine, and amine studies survey across numerous carbonaceous chondrite classes to understand the chemistry of the early solar system and possibly of the origin of life.

He serves as Project Scientist for OSIRIS-REx, to collect and return a pristine sample of near Earth asteroid Bennu for generations of sample scientists.  As Project Scientist Dr. Dworkin focused on maximizing sample value by preserving the pristine condition of the sample and facilitating the interface between science, engineering, and management.  He started working on OSIRIS-REx concepts in 2004 and will be on the project until it concludes in 2025.

David Everett
David Everett is currently the Project Systems Engineer for the OSIRIS-REx.  In his 25 years at NASA, he has led the design, build, and launch of four spacecraft, and he was a key player during the launch of three others.  Before OSIRIS-REx, Mr. Everett led the technical effort for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter as the Mission Systems Engineer, from design through early-orbit operations.  

Mr. Everett has actively supported NASA outreach activities through over 75 speaking engagements.  He has received 37 individual awards, 25 group awards, and a patent for his efforts at NASA; he has published 18 papers; and he co-edited (and wrote the spacecraft design chapter for) the book Space Mission Engineering:  The New SMAD.  He earned a BSEE summa cum laude, at Virginia Tech in 1986 and a MSEE at the University of Maryland in 1989.  Before he joined NASA in 1991, Mr. Everett worked at Westinghouse Electric Corporation where he was awarded two patents for his designs of RF circuits.

Michael Pryzby, Eng.'09
Michael Pryzby is the founder of the JHU Aerospace Affinity program starting in 2015.  He is an active member in the JHU Alumni Assoction and SEA, including supporting the mentoring program.  Michael was recently a Project Instrument Systems Engineer for the OSIRIS-REx Mission.  He has supported both NASA/GSFC and DARPA over the past 24 years as a government contractor.  Prior to OSIRIS-REx, he was the lead Spacecraft System Engineer for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter from development through launch.  He was the lead Spacecraft Bus Systems Engineer for the DARPA Phoenix Mission during the design and development effort. 

Prior to those efforts, Michael supported the Space Shuttle program for over ten years developing secondary payloads for the Shuttle’s cargo bay.  He wrote the spacecraft mechanical/structural design chapter for the book Space Mission Engineering:  The New SMAD and provided support to the systems engineer sections.  He earned a BSME at Virginia Tech in 1989 and a MSE in Systems Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in 2009. He is currently employed by ATA Aerospace and by ASRC Federal.