Physiologist Albert G. Crenshaw was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 20, 1952. His father was a construction worker and his mother a domestic worker. Crenshaw did not take to science right away; rather, he attended Chowan Junior College on a basketball scholarship and received his A.A. degree from there in 1973. He then enrolled at West Virginia University and earned his B.A. degree in biology in 1977. Crenshaw went on to earn his Ph.D. degree in physiology and anatomy in 1994 from the University of Umeå. He was the first African American in Sweden to earn a doctoral degree in the medical sciences. Crenshaw’s Ph.D. thesis was entitled, Intramuscular Pressure Techniques for Studying Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.
In 1978, Crenshaw moved to San Diego, California and accepted a position as a research technician at the University of California, San Diego in an orthopedic research lab. While there, Crenshaw had the opportunity to study abroad in Gothenburg, Sweden for eight months in a laboratory exchange program. In 1989, he relocated with the lab to the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field outside of San Francisco. Following his tenure at NASA, Crenshaw was invited and accepted a position as a Ph.D. student at the University of Umea and graduated in 1994. From 1995 to 1996, Crenshaw served concurrently as a research assistant in the East Hospital department of orthopaedics at the University of Gothenburg and as a research assistant in the department of anatomy at the University of Umea. He was then appointed as an assistant professor of physiology at the Swedish National Institute for Working Life in the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. In 2000, he became an associate professor at the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research at the University of Gavle in Umea, Sweden.
Throughout his career, Crenshaw has contributed over fifty scientific articles to journals such as European Journal of Applied Physiology, Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, Journal of Applied Physiology, and Journal of Orthopaedic Research. NASA awarded him the Certificate of Recognition during tenure as laboratory manager. Crenshaw resides in Umea, Sweden with his wife and two children.
Albert G. Crenshaw was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 21, 2013.