Co-founder & Director, Chronic Pain Research Alliance
Christin has suffered from chronic pain since surviving a near-fatal accident in her teens. Her health experiences led her to pursue a science degree, time conducting neuroscience research at Johns Hopkins Medical School and to the research advocacy community. For nearly 25 years, she has been a passionate advocate at the Congressional and federal agency levels for bringing about public awareness of the profound impact of chronic pain (particularly in women), the urgent need for an increased federal research investment to address this public health crisis and the long-overlooked value of including patient perspectives throughout the research continuum. Her life's work has been to advocate for the acceleration of rigorous pain research and the translation of research findings into meaningful change for people with chronic pain – with a special emphasis on pain conditions that solely or disproportionately affect women and frequently co-occur, termed Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions (COPCs). Christin previously served as Executive Director of the National Vulvodynia Association. In 2009, she co-founded the Chronic Pain Research Alliance (CPRA) - the nation's only advocacy initiative focused on advancing a strategic research, knowledge translation and biopharmaceutical industry effort on COPCs. With the goal of advancing timely diagnoses and effective evidence-based care for people with co-existing chronic pain conditions, CPRA works to promote high-caliber COPCs research, translate research findings into educational programs for clinicians and patients, and drive the development of safe and effective treatments. CPRA accomplishes its goal by working with a variety of stakeholder groups, including the medical-scientific community, consumers, professional organizations, biopharmaceutical companies and federal health and research agencies. Christin has served in advisory positions for numerous critical pain initiatives within federal agencies, including the National Pain Strategy, Federal Pain Research Strategy, Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-Term) Initiative, among others. She also serves in advisory positions for academic pain research studies, as well as collaborative alliances and public-private partnerships working to promote pain research, treatment and education. She has authored numerous journal articles, op-eds, book chapters, continuing medical education programs, patient tutorials and educational guides. To promote awareness, Christin speaks openly about her experiences with chronic pain and its profound impact on her life. She has been a presenter at over 30 medical, research and policy conferences, as well as federal agency meetings, and has been interviewed for print, television and radio media.