Chris Nowinski

Dr. Chris Nowinski is CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation and a social entrepreneur leading a global conversation on concussions, CTE, and the future of sports. An All-Ivy Harvard football player-turned WWE professional wrestler-turned neuroscientist, he discovered the sports concussion crisis the hard way when a kick to the chin in a 2003 WWE match which ended his career. His struggle with post-concussion syndrome sent him on a journey through which he exposed a global public health issue that is only beginning to be understood.

To retrain his brain, Chris wrote the investigative expose Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis in 2006, which exposed how the NFL had been playing the role of Big Tobacco in covering up the costs of concussions. He soon after founded the non-profit Concussion Legacy Foundation (CLF), where he continues to serve as CEO, as well as the Boston University (BU) CTE Center and the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank, where he serves as the Outreach, Recruitment, Education, and Public Policy Leader. Dr. Nowinski now advances the conversation globally through CLF chapters in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom and CLF Global Brain Bank partners in Brazil and New Zealand. His journey has been profiled in media outlets like HBO Real Sports, ESPN Outside the Lines, and the New York Times, and he was the subject of the award-winning documentary Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis by celebrated director Steve James.

Dr. Nowinski earned his doctorate in Behavioral Neuroscience from Boston University School of Medicine and has authored more than 35 scientific publications. VICE Sports called Dr. Nowinski “the man most responsible for making CTE part of the national conversation,” and Sports Illustrated 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.”

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