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Kinesiology Department


Chrystine Gallegos, Sports Medicine

GallegosChrystine Gallegos (Wiess ’17) is a Kinesiology major, with a concentration in Sports Medicine, and a minor in Biochemistry and Cellular Biology. During her time at Rice, Chrystine has balanced her time between academics, research work, and cheerleading for Rice sporting events.

Chrystine was a competitive gymnast for fourteen years before coming to Rice, and worked for three years as a gymnastics coach after leaving the sport due to a back injury. Her involvement gymnastics and experiences with rehabilitation and sports medical professionals piqued her interest in a Kinesiology major and guided her towards a concentration in Sports Medicine. Chrystine has enjoyed being a Rice cheerleader since her freshman year and will miss the excitement of participating in Rice sports from the sideline at every game when she leaves.

During her freshman year, Chrystine developed a keen interest in spinal cord injuries after personal experiences brought them to a forefront in her life. Chrystine has worked as a research assistant under the direction of Dr. Qi Lin Cao in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. In Dr. Cao’s lab, she studies the effect of using stem cell therapy to promote functional recovery after acute and chronic spinal chord injuries using several innovative approaches. As part of this research, she works alongside Dr. Cao’s team to develop novel protocol for the rehabilitation of spinal cord injuries.

Chrystine has many varied interests, including traveling, photography, writing, Muay Thai, and baking as her current favorite activities. Following her graduation in May of 2017, Chrystine will take a gap year to pursue her continued research in Dr. Cao’s lab, and attend medical school the following year. She hopes to achieve a fruitful and progressive career in medicine, and to keep reminding others to never stop learning and trying new things.

Chrystine is especially thankful for the continued support and encouragement she has received through her years by the many learned and talented professors at Rice and her mentors at UTHealth, and she feels extremely lucky to have attended a world class university.