Beth Stevens (Boston Children’s) 1: Microglia States in Health and Disease

Beth Stevens talks about her work on microglia cells in the brain and the role they play in brain development and neurodegenerative disease.

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.

0:00 Start
1:17 What are microglia?
6:01 Microglia in healthy brains
8:55 Synaptic pruning
13:10 Microglia in health and disease
15:50 Heterogeneity in microglia

Speaker Biography:
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 the University of Maryland, College Park, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the MacArthur Fellowship and the Smith Family Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research, and she is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Karen Dell (iBiology): Producer
Kevin McLean (iBiology): Producer
Eric Kornblum (iBiology): Video Editor
Chris Vargas (HHMI): Videographer

Category: National
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