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University of Cambridge
PhD, Clinical Neuroscience
Marshall Scholar; NIH Cambridge Scholar
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
BS, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Additional Major in English
Alumni Distinguished Scholar; Honors College; 4.00 GPA
John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair
University of Cambridge
Project: developed enzyme therapy to facilitate regeneration of retinal ganglion cells in the injured optic nerve by targeting inhibitory chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans
Skills: rodent optic nerve crush surgery, retinal flatmount, tissue embedding and cryosectioning, immunohistochemistry, Western Blot, PCR, confocal imaging
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences
Michigan State University
Project: designed PLGA microcapsules for sustained release of 11-cis-retinal in animal models of Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), an inherited form of blindness
Skills: fabrication of polymer microcapsules, nanodrop spectrophotometry
Digital Humanities and Literary Cognition Lab
Michigan State University
Project: characterized patterns of neural activity during attentive literary reading
Skills: fMRI data analysis; served as lab manager, supervising over 20 undergraduate and graduate research assistants; contributed to drafting of several major grants
Awards & Honors
Marshall Scholarship (2014)
Awarded to 34 of 979 endorsed applicants for 2 years fully-funded study at a UK institution
NIH Cambridge Scholarship (2014)
National award funds a collaborative 4-year PhD between Cambridge and the NIH
Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship (2012)
National award for students demonstrating commitment to a research career in STEM fields
Phi Beta Kappa Society (inducted 2013)
Student award, Cambridge Society for the Application of Research (2018)
Best Research Pitch, NIH Graduate Research Festival (2018)
Poster Award, NHLBI Research Festival (2017)
Poster Award, National Institutes of Health Glycosciences Research Day (2017)
Best Student Talk, Cambridge Department of Clinical Neurosciences (2015)
Best Research Pitch, Cambridge Neurological Society Symposium (2015)
Impact Poster Award, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Cambridge (2015)
Richard Lee Featherstone Endowed Prize (2014)
Awarded to most outstanding graduating senior at Michigan State University
Alumni Distinguished Scholarship (2010-2014)
Awarded to 15 outstanding MSU freshmen, funding four years of tuition, room and board
C. Pearson, C. Mencio, A. C. Barber, K. R. Martin, and H. M. Geller. Identification of a critical sulfation in chondroitin that inhibits axonal regeneration. eLife 2018;7:e37139.
C. Pearson. A therapeutic link between astrogliosis and remyelination in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. The Journal of Neuroscience 2018; 38(1): 29-31.
P. Yu, C. Pearson, and H. M. Geller. Flexible roles for proteoglycan sulfation and receptor signaling. Trends in Neurosciences 2017; 17: 30211-4.
C. Pearson and K. Martin. Cell based therapies for glaucoma. Advances in Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation 2015; 15(6): 13-14.
C. Pearson and K. Martin. Stem cell approaches to glaucoma, from aqueous outflow modulation to retinal neuroprotection. Progress in Brain Research 2015; 220: 241-256.
Y. Shu, M. Baumann, E. Case, R. Irwin, S. Meyer, C. Pearson, and L. McCabe. Surface microcracks signal osteoblasts to regulate alignment and bone formation. Materials Science and Engineering C 2014; 44: 191-200.
Selected Conference Presentations
C. Pearson, K. Martin, and H. Geller. Arylsulfatase B modifies chondroitin sulfation and enhances retinal ganglion cell axon regeneration. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual meeting. Honolulu, Hawaii. Poster. May 2018.
Fully funded by travel grant from the Biomedical Research Alliance
C. Pearson, K. Martin, and H. Geller. Modifying chondroitin sulfation enhances retinal ganglion cell axon regeneration in the mouse optic nerve. Optic Nerve Meeting. Obergurgl, Austria. Oral Presentation. December 2017.
Fully funded by travel grants from the Isabelle Bouhon Travel Fund and Gonville and Caius College
C. Pearson, K. Martin, and H. Geller. Modifying chondroitin sulfation enhances retinal ganglion cell axon regeneration in the mouse optic nerve. Society for Neuroscience (SfN) annual meeting. Washington, DC. Poster. November 2017.
C. Pearson, K. Martin, and H. Geller. Modifying chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans enhances retinal ganglion cell axon regeneration in the mouse optic nerve. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual meeting. Baltimore, Maryland. Poster. May 2017.
Fully funded by travel grant from the Guarantors of Brain
C. Pearson, K. Martin, and H. Geller. Optic Nerve Crush: Molecular Responses to Acute Injury in the Visual System. Optic Nerve Meeting. Obergurgl, Austria. Oral Presentation. December 2015.
Fully funded by travel grant from Gonville and Caius College
C. Pearson, K. Martin, and H. Geller. Characterization of the Injury Response to an Optic Nerve Crush in the Mouse. International Symposium for Neural Regeneration. Asilomar, California. Poster. November 2015.
Fully funded by travel grants from Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission and International Symposium for Neural Regeneration
C. Pearson, A. Barber, K. Martin, and H. Geller. Distribution of Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycans After Acute Optic Nerve Injury. British Neuroscience Association: Festival of Neuroscience. Edinburgh, Scotland. Poster. April 2015.
Fully funded by competitive travel grant from the E.G. Fearnside Fund
C. Pearson, A. Barber, K. Martin, and H. Geller. Distribution of Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycans After Acute Optic Nerve Injury. Cambridge Neurological Society Symposium. Cambridge, UK. Poster. March 2015.
Awarded first prize for best research pitch
C. Pearson, M. Baumann, S. Petersen-Jones, and D. Thompson. PLA/PGA as a Retinoid Delivery Device for Treatment of Leber Congenital Amaurosis. Biomedical Engineering Society Conference. Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, CT. Poster. October 2011.
Leadership & Outreach
Co-Founder, Peter Watson International Scholarship (2017-2018)
£6,000 endowment from Cambridge Eye Trust to develop education outreach program in UK high schools, funding two scholarship winners to visit the NIH in April 2018.
ARVO Global Mentorship Program (2017-2018)
Selected by ARVO by competitive application for one-to-one mentoring program
ARVO Science Communication Training Program (2017-2018)
One of 20 trainees selected by Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
£6,000 from Cambridge Eye Trust to develop education outreach program in UK schools.
Engaged Pedagogy Grant, MSU College of Arts and Letters (2017)
$5,000 to develop course materials in disability studies, organize a symposium, and produce an accessible art exhibition at MSU’s Broad Museum, November 2017
Short film grant, Wellcome Trust and University of Cambridge (2016)
Competitive £4,000 grant to produce short film, “Talk With Your Hands: Communication Across the Sensory Spectrum,” featured at Cambridge Festival of Ideas, October 2016
Editor-in-Chief, Exceptions (2013-2014, currently serving as Consulting Editor)
Managed editorial staff; conducted interviews; curated website and social media
Organized “Accessible Art” event at Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, April 2015, funded by a competitive grant from MSU College of Arts and Letters
Team Organizer, Pint of Science, Cambridge, UK (2015-2016)
Organized community outreach event, scheduled speakers, coordinated with venue
Faculty, Medicine and the Brain, Oxbridge Academic Programs (2016)
Designed course materials and taught two courses of students aged 16-18 enrolled in international program; coordinated workshops, dissections, lab visits, and guest speakers
Teaching Assistant, Neurobiology, MSU College of Natural Science (2012)
Supervised 72 students in group learning activities for senior-level course focused on structure and function of nerve cells; prepared course materials and managed gradebook