Dr. Staci Bilbo is the Director of Research for the Lurie Center for Autism at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. She received her Ph.D. in Psychological and Brain Sciences from Johns Hopkins University in 2003, and continued her training with a postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She directed the Developmental Neuroimmunology Laboratory in the Department of Neuroscience at Duke University from 2007-2016, until joining the faculty at HMS in 2016. Her research is broadly focused on the mechanisms by which the immune and endocrine systems interact with the brain to impact health and behavior. Current research in her laboratory focuses on understanding the consequences of early life events, including infection, stress, environmental toxins, and maternal obesity on neural and immune system development.
Marcy Kingsbury, Senior Scientist/Member of the Faculty
I am interested in how maternal stressors and modifications of the perinatal environment alter neuroimmune interactions and how these alterations contribute to aberrant social behavior such as that observed in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I am also interested in the microbiota-gut-brain axis, gut-brain-immune interactions and mechanisms that contribute to neurodevelopmental and neuroinflammatory diseases. Currently, I am examining the role of oxytocin at birth as a neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory molecule. Contact me here.
I am interested in how microglia shape, maintain, and modify neural circuits during plasticity. I am currently investigating the role of microglia during nucleus accumbens development, and how this relates to social and addiction behaviors. Contact me here and here.
Evan Bordt, Postdoctoral Fellow
I am interested in how sex differences in mitochondrial function and inheritance influence microglial reactivity, and how this impacts neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism (greater incidence in males than females). Contact me here.
Caroline Smith, Postdoctoral Fellow
Broadly, I am interested in understanding the role of microglia in the organization and maintenance of neural circuits underlying social behavior. Currently, I am investigating the impact of maternal immune activation on the developmental trajectory of microglia and whether or not changes in microglial development may lead to alterations in social behavior. Contact me here.
Carina Block, Graduate Student
I am interested in the role of microglia in developing neural circuits. I am investigating whether sex differences in the number of microglia in the developing brain may reflect sex differences in synapse number or refinement during critical windows. Contact me here.