Christian Lorson, PhD

Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Strategic Initiatives
University of Missouri

Christian Lorson, PhD, serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Missouri. He is a Curators’ Distinguished Research Professor, and is the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate studies in the College of Veterinary Medicine where is has been a professor since 2010. Dr. Lorson serves as the Director of the Missouri-wide Spinal Cord Injury/Disease Research Program (SCIDRP), a state-wide program designed to fund translational research focused upon spinal cord injuries and neurological disease.

Prior to joining MU as a faculty member, Dr. Lorson received a BA from Colorado College (1991), a PhD from the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Missouri (1997) and was a post-doctoral fellow at Tufts University School of Medicine (2000). He started his faculty career at Arizona State University in the Biology Department and joined MU in 2002 as an assistant professor. As a principal investigator in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center, his laboratory continues to focus upon the molecular genetics and therapeutic development opportunities for neurodegenerative diseases, in particular spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), SMA with respiratory distress type I (SMARD1), and Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT). The laboratory has been supported by grants from NIH, DOD and multiple private foundations (including MDA, CureSMA, CMT Research Foundation), totaling upwards of $25M in external support. Dr. Lorson was the Scientific Director of FightSMA, a patient advocacy group focused on SMA research and governmental advocacy (2005-2017) and is a member of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Research Advisory Committee (2007- present), in addition to reviewing for dozens of agencies worldwide. In 2022, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Dr. Lorson co-founded Shift Pharmaceuticals in 2017 (along with Dr. Steve O’Connor) and is the current Chief Scientific Officer at Shift. Shift has successfully raised $9M in non-dilutive funding from the NIH for SMA and CMT projects, including Phase I SBIRs and a U44 from NIH/NINDS.

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