Christopher A. Lowry, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Lowry’s research program focuses on interventions for the prevention and treatment of disorders including anxiety, depression, and PTSD. His research has an emphasis on the role of the microbiome-gut-brain axis in stress resilience, health, and disease. Get to know Christopher and his beliefs on the importance of scientific research.
As a Kid, What Did You Want to Be When You Grew Up & Why?
As a kid, growing up in rural Wyoming, I wanted to be a forest ranger or game warden, as I felt a strong connection to nature and the wilderness. My path changed when I attended the University of Wyoming and studied the epistemology of science, as a way of knowing and understanding our world. That’s when I discovered the joy, excitement, and importance of scientific research firsthand.
What Was the Biggest Turning Point in Your Life?
Becoming involved in undergraduate scientific research in Dr. William Gern’s laboratory at the University of Wyoming in 1986. As a first-generation college student, I arrived at school with a limited understanding of how to navigate the college experience or the opportunities that a college education could provide. Participating in research in Dr. Gern’s laboratory introduced me to the scientific method, the joy and excitement of scientific research, and the scientific community.
What Are Three Facts About You That Are Completely Unrelated to the Subject of Your Talk?
- I love being in the wilderness without the accouterments of the modern age. The Wind River Wilderness Area in Wyoming feels like a “home away from home.”
- I love photography, and Tom Mangelsen still owes me a beer.
- My first job was as a dishwasher at the Silver Spur Restaurant in the town square in Jackson, Wyoming.
Who Are Three People, Living or Dead, That Inspire You the Most?
- William Gern, my undergraduate mentor, who introduced me to science.
- Frank L. Moore, my graduate mentor at Oregon State University, who trained me in the philosophy of science.
- Stafford L. Lightman who showed me the beauty of science.
What’s Your Favorite TED or TEDx Talk?
Courtney describes solastalgia and the importance of a healthy planet.
What’s a Piece of Advice That You Live By or That You Give Other People Constantly?
Eat right, exercise, and get plenty of sleep.
Name One Thing We Aren’t Spending Enough Time Thinking About as a Society. What Would Be a Good First Step?
We are not spending enough time thinking about the importance of a healthy planet. Facilitating honest discussions about how planetary health is necessary for human health is a good first step.
If You Could Achieve One Goal in the Next Year What Would It Be?
Identify novel approaches to the treatment of anxiety disorders, affective disorders, and PTSD.