Awarded in 2014
Home Department: Neurobiology, Medicine
Faculty Advisors: Ben Barres (Neurobiology), Sergiu Pasca (Psychiatry), Gerald Grant (Neurosurgery), and Melanie Hayden-Gephart (Neurosurgery)
Research Title: Understanding the role of human astrocytes in health and disease
Research Description: Astrocytes comprise over half the cells of the adult brain and contribute to the development and function of the nervous system. Recent work suggests that neurodevelopmental disorders like autism result from aberrant circuit formation during development. Considering the role that astrocytes play in establishing normal neural circuits during development, the Barres lab would like to better understand the nature and function of human astrocytes. Furthermore, they are developing novel techniques for generating astrocytes that are derived from patient fibroblasts so that they can study how patient-derived astrocytes might contribute to aberrant neural circuit formation in vitro.
Steven has returned to clinics to finish the last two years of medical school at Stanford as part of the MSTP program.