CU Professor Linda S.
Crnic of pediatrics and psychiatry died on Sept. 11, 2004, from head injuries
suffered in a biking accident in Oregon. She was 56.
Dr. Crnic was born on
March 29, 1948, in Ft. Wayne, Ind., the daughter of Herman and Patricia Smith.
She married Stan L. Wilks.
She received a
bachelor's degree with honors from the University of Chicago in 1970, a master
of arts in experimental psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago
in 1972 and her Ph.D. in experimental psychology from UIC in 1975.
She completed a
fellowship in nutrition and metabolism at the CU School of Medicine from
1975-77, and in 1977 joined the SOM faculty as an instructor. She was named an
assistant professor in 1978 and was promoted to associate professor in 1985.
She became a full professor in 1994.
Dr. Crnic was named
director of the Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research
Center at the SOM in 2001. She also was the driving force behind creation of
the Developmental Psychobiology Research Group at the school and was a senior
fellow adjoint at the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.
and generosity have been a department treasure," M. Douglas Jones, chair
of the department of pediatrics, said in a campus e-mail message. "Just
one example: as a Ph.D. she founded and built the residents' academic track for
many years, while building an international reputation for her research in Down
Jones added that Dr.
Crnic's passion for collaborative programs associated with mental retardation
and developmental disabilities led to her active involvement with the Coleman
Institute for Cognitive Disabilities at CU, as well as work with investigators
at the University of Denver and Colorado State University.
understood better than most the power of putting together a broad network of
scholars within and across campuses," Jones said. "She was also
active with Down syndrome families, working locally and traveling with them to
Washington, D.C., to make the case for better support for care and research.
Linda's energy and breadth of vision will be difficult to replace."
Dr. Crnic was the
principal or co-investigator on a number of research projects related to mental
retardation and Down syndrome. She was the author or co-author of dozens of
scholarly papers and articles, and gave numerous invited talks in the United
States and other countries. She had applied for a patent on Digital video
technology for automated scoring of behavior.
She provided many
years of service and leadership to the International Society for Developmental
Psychobiology, serving as secretary/treasurer (1983-86) and president
(1996-97). She was chair of the Rocky Mountain Region Neuroscience Group
(1983-86) and a member of the Scientific Council of the Psychoneuroimmunology
Research Society (1997-2000). She was selected for Executive Leadership in
Academic Medicine training for 2003-04. She also was a member of the Society
for Neuroscience and Behavioral Teratology Society.
At CU, Dr. Crnic was
a member of numerous departmental and campus committees and panels, including
the Pediatrics Residency Program Committee (1990-2000), the SOM Committee on
the Status of Women (1993-2004), the SOM Faculty Senate (1998-2004) and the
Indirect Costs Variance Committee (1998-2004). She also was a lecturer in the
Mini-Medical School lecture series and organizer of new faculty orientation