Crista Lawrence-Adamson

Mansfield Center, CT

University of Southern California

B.A. Biological Science, Summer 1989 M.S. Biology, Spring 1993

An All-American swimmer her freshman year at Cal State Northridge, Crista was injured in a surfing accident while competing in a junior lifeguard competition. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Science degrees in Biology from USC in 1992, Crista and her soon-to-be husband, Douglas Adamson, moved to New Jersey. Crista’s passion for neuroscience-directed research began in her junior year at USC, as a volunteer studying differences in male and female brains, and how these differences could be manipulated during critical developmental stages. During her Master’s program, she worked to develop an animal model of schizophrenia. Undeterred by a coast-to-coast move, she applied for and was accepted into the doctorate program at Rutgers. She received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Medicine and Dentistry/Rutgers the State University of New Jersey in 2001 and dedicated her dissertation to Swim With Mike! Her post-doctoral studies and work as a Research Associate focused on spinal cord injury-related therapies. Currently, she is the Director of Clinical Engagement at the New Haven based startup ReNetX Bio. This company is carrying out the first clinical trial in chronic cervical spinal cord injury, aimed at promoting neuronal growth and restoration of movement. Weeks after joining the ReNetX team, Crista sustained a second spinal cord injury. Her current goal is to get back in the water as soon as possible, her favorite place to stretch and exercise. She hopes to heal fast enough to return to scuba diving this summer and downhill skiing next winter. Her Trojan family resides in Connecticut, where Doug is a Professor of Chemistry at UConn. Their son Brian, a computer science and engineering major, and daughter, Kelsey who earned a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources are also Huskies.

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