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Kristi graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She then pursued a Ph. D. in Comparative Biomedical Sciences with a focus on neurophysiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the laboratory of Dr. Tracy Baker where she studied spinal mechanisms of homeostatic plasticity in the respiratory control system. In 2014, she began her post-doctoral research at the University of Florida with Dr. David Fuller and was awarded an NIH F32 post-doctoral fellowship to study spinal interneurons in the respiratory neural network following cervical spinal cord injury. She then secured a research opportunity award from Parker B. Francis Foundation and a K99/R00 pathway to independence award from NIH to investigate respiratory afferents and their role in neuromuscular plasticity after cervical spinal cord injury. She joined the faculty of the Department of Physical Therapy at Marquette University as an Assistant Professor in 2019.
Cervical spinal cord injury disrupts descending drive to the primary inspiratory muscle, the diaphragm, and results in profound breathing impairments. Individuals with cervical spinal cord injury are also at the highest risk for developing aberrant sympathetically driven cardiovascular responses. Respiratory afferents are known to influence both respiratory motor output and cardiovascular control. Dr. Streeter’s research program is focused on understanding the role of respiratory afferents in cardiorespiratory control, the mechanisms by which afferents induce respiratory motor plasticity, and the therapeutic potential of respiratory afferent activation after cervical spinal cord injury.