9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
After an All-Ivy football career at Harvard and a stint in life sciences consulting with Trinity Partners, Chris became a professional wrestler with WWE, and still holds the record as the youngest Hardcore Champion in history. He was forced to retire from a series of concussions in 2003, and his challenging recovery from post-concussion syndrome led him to write the critically-acclaimed book Head Games in 2006 in an effort to educate parents, coaches, and children about this previously hidden public health issue.
In 2007 Chris dedicated his life to changing the culture of concussions in sports: founding SLI with concussion expert Dr. Robert Cantu in 2007 and partnering with Boston University School of Medicine in 2008 to found the CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) Center. He is the lead recruiter for the VA-BU-SLI Brain Bank, where a team of neuropathologists have studied the brains of nearly 100 former NFL players and redefined the disease once called “punch drunk” because it was thought to only exist in boxers. Sports Illustrated has said, “It is Nowinski's figure which looms behind the doctors and the headlines and the debate roiling over sports' newfound commitment to minimizing head trauma."
A 2010 Eisenhower Fellow, Nowinski is a Ph.D. candidate in Behavioral Neuroscience and an author of over 15 journal articles. Head Games is now in its third edition as Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis, and was adapted for the 2012 award-winning documentary of the same name by acclaimed director Steve James. He serves on the NFL Players Association Mackey-White TBI Committee, the Ivy League Concussion Committee, Positive Coaching Alliance National Advisory Board, and as a consultant to Major League Lacrosse.