Microglia are the primary immune cells in the central nervous system. In the brain, they play central roles in proper development and function, as well as dysfunction and disease. In her first talk, Dr. Beth Stevens provides an overview of the many ways microglia cells operate, and how they can both harm and protect the brain. Fairly recent advances in the study of microglia through imaging have allowed researchers to identify different microglia states and study their dynamic roles at different stages of development.
In her second second talk, Dr. Stevens dives deeper into the mechanisms that allow microglia to shape the network of connections between neurons in the brain. She provides an introduction to the role of microglia in synaptic pruning, the process of eliminating extra synapses in healthy developing brains. She then goes on to explain how the reactivation of this process affects aging and diseased brains.
Beth Stevens is a neurobiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, the Broad Institute, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Her lab studies neuro-immune interactions in developing and diseased brains. She has made notable discoveries about the role of microglia cells in developmental disorders and neurodegenerative disease. Stevens earned her B.S. from Northwestern University, her Ph.D. from… Continue Reading