The 2021 Samuel Rudin Distinguished Professorship Lecture
“How Immune Cells Wire and Unwire the Brain”
Beth Stevens, PhD
Associate Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School
Boston Children’s Hospital
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
View Dr. Stevens' Biography
Dr. Stevens is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School in the FM Kirby Neurobiology Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. She is also a member of the Broad Institute, the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, and the National Academy of Medicine.
Her research focuses on understanding how neural-immune interactions in the brain sculpt synapses during normal development and disease. She and her team discovered that microglia, the brain’s resident immune cells, prune neural connections in response to signals from the classical complement pathway, a branch of the immune system. Her lab has uncovered a diverse set of immune molecules that regulate this process in the brain during normal development, providing insights into the pathological synapse loss of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and schizophrenia. She has adopted an interdisciplinary approach that straddles the fields of genetics, immunology, and neuroscience to understand how neural-immune interactions regulate brain wiring, neural circuit function, and behavior.
Dr. Stevens was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2015. She shared the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Research Award with Steven McCarroll and Michael Carroll in 2016 for their collaborative work on C4 and schizophrenia.
Dr. Stevens received her B.S. at Northeastern University. She carried out her graduate research at the National Institutes of Health and received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park. She completed her postdoctoral research at Stanford University with Ben Barres.