2019 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Human Biology
Mentor: Theo Palmer, Neurosurgery

Infection during pregnancy has been linked to the development of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in offspring. Microglia—the primary immune cells in the brain, which are essential for synaptic pruning during development—are implicated in ASD. However, the precise effects of prenatal infection on microglial development and function are not well known. Catherine’s research will use a mouse model to explore the lasting consequences of early life events on microglial function and the mechanisms by which prenatal infections may contribute to neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders.