Pathology Graduate Training Program
Cellular and Molecular Pathology (CMP) -
Alumni

Name: Christi Kolarcik
Email: clk39@pitt.edu

Education:
Undergraduate Degree: BS in Biology and BS in Chemistry
Undergraduate Degree Year: May 2004
Undergraduate Institution: Penn State University
Undergraduate Major: Biology Major, Chemistry Major, Business Administration Minor

Academic Status: 4th Year

Graduate Program: Experimental Pathology

Thesis Advisor: Robert Bowser, Ph.D.

Thesis Title/Research Topic: Characterization of transthyretin and retinoid signaling proteins in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Current Research Description: My research focuses on the characterization of transthyretin, a protein previously identified as a potential biomarker for ALS as well as retinoid signaling, a related pathway implicated in the disease process. Using both clinical samples and a motor neuron-enriched culture system, we aim to identify and then explore the functional consequences of alterations in this pathway specifically as they contribute to the motor neuron cell death that occurs in this disease. We hope to gain a better understanding of the basic cellular mechanisms and processes underlying ALS and to develop diagnostic measures and new therapeutic strategies for ALS.

Honors:
Undergraduate Honors:

  • Schreyer Scholar (8/1999-5/2004)
  • Eberly College of Science Academic Honors
  • General Trustee Scholarship
  • Penn State Beaver Chemistry Department Honors (8/1999-5/2001)
  • Presidential Academic Excellence Scholarship
  • Thomas and Shirley Woolaway Endowed Scholarship
  • Robert C. Byrd Academic Scholarship
  • Penn State Beaver Two-Year Honors Certificate (8/1999-5/2001)
  • Pittsburgh Tube Company Scholarship
  • Bryce and Jonelle Jordan Renaissance Scholarship (1999-2003)
  • ARCO Chemical Company Endowed Scholarship
  • Gerald Bayles Memorial Scholarship
  • Honorable Mention (Physical Sciences) PSU Undergraduate Research Exhibition (4/2001)
  • Renaissance Scholarship (8/2003-5/2004)
  • Golden Key International Honor Society (2002-2004)
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honors Fraternity (3/2003-5/2004)
  • L. Peter Gold Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Service

Graduate Honors:

  • Invited Speaker, Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting
  • McGowan Trainee Career Advancement Program Travel Award
  • Invited Speaker, ASIP/AANP/FASEB Annual Meeting 3rd Prize, Department of Pathology Research Day Committee on Women in Neuroscience Graduate Travel Award
  • Graduate Research in Pathology Oral Presenter Award Invited Speaker, 19th International Symposium on ALS/MND
  • CATER Fellow

Publications:

Kolarcik, C., and Bowser, R. (2006). Plasma and cerebrospinal fluid-based protein biomarkers for motor neuron disease. Mol Diag & Therapy, 10(5): 281-292.

Abstracts:

Christi L. Kolarcik and Robert Bowser. Retinoic acid signaling alterations in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine Annual Retreat (3/2008)

Christi L. Kolarcik and Robert Bowser. Alterations of the retinoic acid signaling pathway in ALS. Translational Research Advancing Therapy for ALS (TREAT ALS) Symposium (1/2008)

Christi L. Kolarcik and Robert Bowser. Alterations of the retinoic acid signaling pathway in ALS. 18th International Symposium on ALS/MND (12/2007)

Henrik Ryberg, Christi Kolarcik and Robert Bowser. Characterization of FLJ10986 expression in ALS. 18th International Symposium on ALS/MND (12/2007)

Christi L. Kolarcik and Robert Bowser. Alterations in retinoid signaling in ALS. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting (11/2007)

Christi Kolarcik and Robert Bowser. Protein biomarkers of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: characterization of transthyretin and retinoic acid signaling proteins. University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Pathology Research Day (6/2007)

Christi Kolarcik and Robert Bowser. Transthyretin as a biomarker of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and its role in the neuromuscular unit. The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine Annual Retreat (3/2007)

Christi Kolarcik and Robert Bowser. Protein Biomarkers for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Development of a Neuromuscular Junction (NMJ) Model to Investigate ALS. The University of Pittsburgh Science 2006 Research Symposium (10/2006)

Christi Kolarcik and Robert Bowser. Characterization of Biomarkers Specific for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Graduate Research Exhibition (10/2005)

Christi Kolarcik and John M. Simpson. French Wine and a Longer Life: Evaluation of the Antioxidant Activity in French Wines. The Pennsylvania State University Undergraduate Research Exhibition (4/2004)

Christi Kolarcik and John M. Simpson. French Wine and a Longer Life: Evaluation of the Antioxidant Activity in French Wines. American Chemical Society, Northeast Regional Meeting (10/2003)

Christi Kolarcik, Cristen Stephansky and John M. Simpson. Evaluation of Antioxidant Activity in Various Fruit Juices. American Chemical Society 223rd Annual National Meeting (4/2002)

Christi Kolarcik and John M. Simpson. French Wine and a Longer Life: Evaluation of the Antioxidant Activity in French Wines. The Pennsylvania State University Undergraduate Research Exhibition (4/2004)