Lisa Olson


Lisa Olson

Areas of Expertise

The effect of student meditation on the physiological stress response: Cardiac and respiratory parameters, cortisol levels and galvanic skin response.

Phenotypic analysis of Down syndrome mouse models: MRI quantitation of brain structure volumes; solid tumor incidence and metastasis; bone density and growth.

Effect of the chromosome 21 gene product CBR1 on doxorubicin: Prevention of cardiac toxicity induced by the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin in Cbr1 knockout mice; effect of Cbr1 null allele on doxorubicin efficacy in a mouse model of breast cancer.


Ph.D. in human genetics and molecular biology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2003

Graduate certificate in teaching in higher education, Johns Hopkins University School of Education, 2003

B.S. in biology with chemistry minor, Baylor University.


Hedco Hall
P: 909.748.8524
P: 909-748-8920

Meet Dr. Lisa Olson

Dr. Lisa Olson has a Ph.D. in human genetics from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a B.S. from Baylor University. At Johns Hopkins, her Ph.D. program included the first two years of medical school. Her teaching includes medical genetics and neuroscience. She is a pre-health advisor and has served on the Academic Review Board, Writing Advisory Committee and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Dr. Olson's main academic interests are physiology and human genetic disorders. She has been published in journals such as Science, Cancer Research,Human Molecular Genetics, and featured on the podcast, Faith Without Fear. Click on the link to access the podcast,

Degrees held

Ph.D. in human genetics and molecular biology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2003

Graduate certificate in teaching in higher education, Johns Hopkins University School of Education, 2003

B.S. in biology with chemistry minor, Baylor University.

Courses Offered

    Principles of Biology
  • Introduction to Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience of Meditation
  • Medical Genetics
  • Research Topics in Biology, and all associated laboratories


*Whinery E.D., *Musleh A., *Brown E.A., *Alford Z., *Anigbogu J.C., *Ellingwood L., *Espinoza M-A., *Hawkins G., *Kammer K., *Krause K., Olson L.E.  2022.  Physiological responses to narrative anger recall and correlates to anger, forgiveness, and rumination.  Journal of Psychophysiology, in press

*Grimley S.J., Ko C.M, Morrell H.E.R, Grace F., *Bañuelos M.S., *Bautista B.R, Chavez G.N., *Dalrymple E.R, *Green M., *Gurning J., *Heuerman A.C., *Huerta M., *Marks M., *Ov J., *Overton-Harris P., and Olson L.E. 2018. The need for a neutral speaking period in psychosocial stress testing. Journal of Psychophysiology (in press).

*Ellingwood L., *Espinoza M-A., *Acevedo M., and Olson L.E. 2019. College student drinkers have higher self-compassion scores than nondrinkers.  International Journal of Mental and Addiction 17(3), 658-666.

Olson L.E. 2018. Impact of experiential Neuroscience of Meditation course on attitudes toward meditation and science. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education 17(1), A59-A66.

Ko C.M., Grace F., *Chavez G.N., *Grimley S.J., *Dalrymple E.R., and Olson L.E. 2018. Effect of seminar on compassion on student self-compassion, mindfulness and well-being: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of American College Health 66(7), 537-545.

*Bañuelos M.S.,*Musleh A., and Olson L.E. 2017. Measuring salivary alpha-amylase in the undergraduate neuroscience laboratory. The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education16(1), A23-A27.

*Freeland M.M., *Angulo J., *Davis A.L., *Flook A.M., *Garcia B.L., *King N.A., *Mangibin S.K., *Paul K.M., *Prosser M.E., *Sata N., Bentley J.L., and Olson L.E. 2012. Sex differences in improved efficacy of doxorubicin chemotherapy in Cbr1+/- mice. Anticancer Drugs 23(6), 584-589.

Olson L.E. and Mohan S. 2011. Bone density phenotypes in mice aneuploid for the Down syndrome critical region. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 155A (10), 2436-2445.

Olson L.E., Ohlsson C., and Mohan S. 2011. The role of GH/IGF-I-mediated mechanisms in sex differences in cortical bone size in mice. Calcified Tissue International 88 (1), 1-8.

Olson L.E., Roper R.J., *Sengstaken C.L., *Peterson E.A., Aquino V., Galdzicki Z.,Siarey R., Pletnikov M., Moran T.H., and Reeves R.H. 2007. Trisomy for the Down syndrome "critical region" is necessary but not sufficient for brain phenotypes of trisomic mice. Human Molecular Genetics 16 (7), 774-782.

Aldridge K., Reeves R.H., Olson L.E., and Richtsmeier J.T. 2007. Differential effects of trisomy on brain shape and volume in related aneuploid mouse models. American Journal of Medical Genetics 143 (10), 1060-1070.

Hurst T., Olson T.H., Olson L.E., and Appleton C.P. 2006. Cardiac syndrome X and endothelial dysfunction: new concepts in prognosis and treatment. American Journal of Medicine 119 (7), 560-566.

Olson L.E., *Tien J., South S., and Reeves R.H. 2005. Long-range chromosomal engineering is more efficient in vitro than in vivo. Transgenic Research 14 (3), 325-332.

Olson L.E., Richtsmeier J.T., Leszl J., and Reeves R.H. 2004. A chromosome 21 critical region does not cause specific Down syndrome phenotypes. Science 306 (5696), 687-690.

Olson L.E., Roper R.J., Baxter L.L., Carlson E.J., Epstein C.J., and Reeves R.H. 2004. Down syndrome mouse models Ts65Dn, Ts1Cje, and Ms1Cje/Ts65Dn exhibit variable severity of cerebellar phenotypes. Developmental Dynamics 230 (3), 581-589.

Olson L.E., Bedja D., Alvey S.J., Cardounel A.J., Gabrielson K.L., and Reeves R.H. 2003. Protection from doxorubicin-induced cardiac toxicity in mice with a null allele of carbonyl reductase 1 (Cbr1). Cancer Research 63 (20), 6602 - 6606.

Cabin D.E., Olson L.E., and Reeves R.H. 2002. Meeting report: 15(th) International Mouse Genome Conference. Mammalian Genome 13 (5), 229-233.

*denotes undergraduate coauthor

Awards, Honors, Grants

The Trust for the Meditation Process Grant, 2012-2014

Hunsaker Award for Innovative Teaching, University of Redlands, 2013

Outstanding Faculty Research, University of Redlands, 2007

Pardee Foundation Grant, 2005-2008

Howard Hughes Predoctoral Fellow, 1998 - 2003

Goldwater National Science and Engineering Scholar, 1996 - 1998

Phi Beta Kappa, 1998 - present

Professional Affiliations

Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience

Society for Neuroscience

American Society for Human Genetics

National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions

Lisa Olson is a faculty sponsor for College Democrats, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Pre-Health Club and Praxis.