Professional Position: Faculty, Research Instructor
Company: University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine and Brain Institute
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
As a neuroscientist, Christi Kolarcik’s career has been focused on understanding ALS. While studying with Robert Bowser, Ph.D., their team identified protein biomarkers for ALS, and investigated the implications of protein changes in patients with ALS. After graduation, she trained in neural engineering including improving the biocompatibility of electrodes designed to interface with the nervous system (brain-computer interfaces). Currently, she is leading an ALS-based initiative through the University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute involving both basic science and neurotechnology components.
Christi earned BS in both Biology and Chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University, and graduated with honors from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine with a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Pathology. As a graduate student, Christi became a part of the local ALS community through The ALS Association Western PA Chapter, where she volunteered to help with the planning of the 2006 Walk to Defeat ALS and has served as the chair of this event for the past four years. In 2011, she received the Rita G. Patchan Volunteer of the Year Award and was elected to the chapter Board of Directors. She currently serves as the board vice chair and chair of the Strategic Planning Task Force.
“My nomination and appointment to The ALS Association National Board of Trustees is an honor, Christi said. And I look forward to the opportunity to serve the patients and families affected by this devastating disease.”
Christi also serves as Chair of the Pittsburgh Chapter of Young Women in Bio. She and her husband, Joseph Schmitt, have three children: Jared, Reanna and Layla.