Christy Rossi

Teaching Associate Professor

  • Faculty

What I do

Teaching Associate Professor in the Psychology Department


autism<br>embryonic nervous system<br>neurodevelopmental disorders<br>neuroscience

Professional Biography

I’ve been teaching in the psychology department at DU since 2012. I incorporate my degrees in neuroscience (Ph.D.) and psychology (B.A.), along with my research background in developmental neuroscience and autism spectrum disorders, into the courses I teach. My focus is on developing analytic and communication skills alongside discussions of course content, and I enjoy providing opportunities for active learning in my classes. Prior to coming to DU, I taught courses at the Metropolitan State University of Denver and the University of California, Davis.

My postdoctoral research at the University of California, Davis Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (MIND) Institute in the laboratory of Dr. David Amaral focused on autism spectrum disorder. Specifically, my work helped characterize children with and without autism using neuroimmunological and neuroanatomical approaches. Recognizing the heterogeneity that exists among individual with autism, this work aimed to identify subtypes of autism spectrum disorder as part of the Autism Phenome Project.

My doctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Kristin Artinger
focused on the embryonic development of the nervous system. Using transplantation and explantation analysis, I identified tissue interactions and molecular environments important for the development of Rohon-Beard (RB) sensory neurons. Through lineage tracing experiments I studied the early origins of these neurons and how they relate to another population of embryonic cells, neural crest cells, which give rise to much of the peripheral nervous system.

Prior to my graduate work, I taught young children with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders using applied behavior analysis in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.


  • Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, 2008
  • BA, Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, 2000

Featured Publications

Williams, J. S., Hsu, J. Y., Rossi, C., & Artinger, K. B. (2018). Requirement of zebrafish pcdh10a and pcdh10b in melanocyte precursor migration. Developmental Biology, 444(Suppl1), S274-S286.
Rossi, C., Fuentes, J., Van de Water, J., & Amaral, D. G. (2013). Brief Report: Antibodies Reacting to Brain Tissue in Basque Spanish Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Mothers. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(2), 459-465.
Rossi, C., Van de Water, J., Rogers, S. J., & Amaral, D. G. (2011). Detection of plasma autoantibodies to brain tissue in young children with and without autism spectrum disorders. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 25(6), 1123-35.
Wills, S., Rossi, C., Bennett, J., Martinez-Cerdeño, V., Ashwood, P., Amaral, D. G., & Van de Water, J. (2011). Further characterization of autoantibodies to GABAergic neurons in the central nervous system produced by a subset of children with autism. Molecular autism, 2, 5.
Klymkowsky, M. W., Rossi, C., & Artinger, K. B. (2010). Mechanisms driving neural crest induction and migration in the zebrafish and Xenopus laevis. Cell adhesion & migration, 4(4), 595-608.