Beth Stevens, Ph.D.
Beth Stevens is an institute member of the Broad Institute, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, and a research associate in neurobiology at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.
Her research seeks to understand the mechanisms that regulate the disappearance of synapses — junctions where nerves communicate with each other — by focusing on how immune-related molecules mediate this process. Her most recent work seeks to uncover the role that microglial cells, the immune cells of the central nervous system, and their connectivity play in neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. She and her team recently identified how microglia affect synaptic pruning, the critical developmental process of cutting back on synapses that occurs between early childhood and puberty. Problems with pruning can lead to developmental disorders such as autism.
Stevens was named a MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 2015. She has also received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), Dana Foundation Award (Brain and Immuno-Imaging), and Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging award, and she is a member of the John Merck Scholar Program.
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 University of Maryland, College Park. She completed her postdoctoral research at Stanford University with Ben Barres.