Oct 9, 2020: Combined social & chemical stressors worsen neurodevelopmental outcomes in mice

Fall 2020 Seminar Series (ENV 847-S/PHARM 847-S)

Duke Integrated Toxicology & Environmental Health Program

Friday, October 9, 2020, 12:00 – 1:15 pm

*Live Zoom Presentation. Register HERE to receive Zoom link!*

STACI BILBO, PhDStaci Bilbo, PhD

Haley Family Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience

Professor of Neurobiology

Duke University

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Combined social and chemical stressors worsen neurodevelopmental outcomes in mice: relevance for autism spectrum disorders

Maternal immune activation (MIA) during pregnancy, e.g. by environmental factors such as infection or toxins, is associated with an increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in the offspring of humans and in animal models, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia.  This talk will focus on the critical role for microglia in neural development in a model of combined prenatal exposure to diesel exhaust and maternal stress.  Our data suggest combined environmental exposures which activate the maternal immune system may persistently impact brain and behavioral development in males via impacts on microglial phagocytic and inflammatory function.


BIOGRAPHY: Dr. Staci Bilbo is a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University whose research is broadly focused on the mechanisms by which the immune and endocrine systems interact with the brain to impact health and behavior, particularly during critical developmental windows. Her research program is primarily aimed at exploring the mechanisms by which innate central nervous system immune cells, microglia, and signaling molecules such as cytokines and chemokines, influence both normal and abnormal brain development, and the implications for (mal)adaptive behavioral outcomes later in life, including a focus on neurodevelopmental disorders including autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Bilbo received her B.A. in Psychology and Biology from the University of Texas at Austin and her PhD in Neuroendocrinology at Johns Hopkins University.  She was on the faculty at Duke University from 2007-2016 before she joined the faculty at Harvard in 2016, where she served as the Lurie Family Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and as the Director of Research for the Lurie Center for Autism at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children.  She returned to Duke in 2019 as the Haley Family Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, and maintains an appointment at Harvard to continue her research collaborations in Boston and beyond.


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