Kristi LaMonica, Ph.D.
Kristi is an associate professor of Biology and Health Sciences at Russell Sage College (RSC) and was formally diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD) in 2020. Looking back, Kristi was experiencing symptoms for years prior to diagnosis with random finger twitches going back to 2017 with prodromal symptoms going back to graduate school with REM sleep disorder.
“I was taking care of stem cells in my sleep and working on science experiments,” says Kristi.
Prior to diagnosis, Kristi’s research focused on understanding cellular signaling in migrating cells in early development. Shortly after diagnosis,
she found that resources directed at women were lacking and shifted her research program. Her lab began characterizing scientific articles. She also is a member of the World Parkinson’s Coalition (WPC) YOPD and women with YOPD working groups. Kristi is also a member of the PD Avengers. In her role as co-chair of the Wellness Committee, she is working with the group on bringing PD awareness and symptoms resources to low and middle income countries. She is also a member of the PD Avengers womens group and has been part of a smaller group working on surveys aimed at understanding women's experiences with PD that can be found on Fox Insight through the Michael J Fox Foundation. (All women with PD, please take the first survey and subsequent surveys as they are released.)
Kristi is continuously working to involve as many RSC programs, colleagues, and students in her research projects. She always makes time to visit classes to discuss PD, YOPD, and chronic disease. Kristi is working with her contacts at LSVT to encourage more Physical and Occupational Therapists in their final year of training, to become certified in LSVT BIG.
Kristi also recently became a Davis Phinney Foundation (DPF) ambassador. Becoming a DPF Ambassador was the next logical step to continuing her work.
PC Avengers -- https://www.pdavengers.com/
Register for Fox Insight -- https://foxinsight.michaeljfox.org/
LSVT BIG -- https://www.lsvtglobal.com/LSVTBig
Davis Phinney Ambassador -- https://davisphinneyfoundation.org/connect/ambassadors/