Barbara Christie-Pope

Barbara Christie-Pope is an associate professor of biology at Cornell College and director of Dimensions: The Center for the Science and Culture of Healthcare. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of South Alabama in neuropharmacology, the study of the action of drugs on the nervous system.

Christie-Pope began teaching at Cornell part time in 1991 and was hired full time in 1994. Her teaching and research specialties are in neurobiology and degenerative diseases of the brain.

Christie-Pope began her career in research at the University of Oklahoma, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology in 1976. She then joined a research team at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center studying high blood pressure. Her supervisor brought her to New Orleans as head technician of a cardiovascular lab at the Alton Ochsner Foundation. She was next recommended to the University of South Alabama, where she completed a doctorate in 1986.

Since then, she has done much research on degenerative brain diseases such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. In one of her most exciting research projects she helped unravel the mystery of a newly isolated neurotoxin’s effect on the brain, particularly its role in causing Parkinson’s disease. The research, ground-breaking at the time, further developed one theory of how Parkinson’s disease may be caused. She began teaching part time while conducting research in the Division of Neuropathology at Vanderbilt University.

Christie-Pope and her husband, physician Richard Pope, have three daughters.