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Inaugural Andreasen Series Lecture, April 24

Date: Thursday, April 19, 2018

Harvard neuroscientist and MacArthur Fellow Beth Stevens, PhD, will visit the University of Iowa Tuesday, April 24, to present the inaugural Nancy C. Andreasen Lecture and participate in a panel discussion about the science and societal impact of autism.

The annual Andreasen lecture, newly established by the UI Department of Psychiatry, honors Nancy C. Andreasen, MD, PhD, UI professor of psychiatry, an internationally recognized neuroscientist and a leader in the field of schizophrenia research.

The Inaugural Nancy C. Andreasen Lecture

Guest Speaker: Beth Stevens, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
When: Tuesday, April 24
Time: 11-Noon, Reception to follow
Where: Prem Sahai Auditorium (1110A MERF)

Nancy Andreasen portrait

Andreasen’s work

Andreasen, who holds the Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry, pioneered the use of neuroimaging techniques to study brain abnormalities in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. When MRI became available during the mid-1980s, her lab was the first to conduct research showing brain changes in the two disorders using the new technology.

Among her many awards, Andreasen received the National Medal of Science in 2000 and the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Scientific Research Award in 2012. She was also inducted into the National Academy of Medicine for her work in schizophrenia. Andreasen has written several well-known books, including The Broken Brain and Brave New Brain, and is the former editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Read more about Andreasen’s impact on neuroscience.

Lecture explores immune system and neurodevelopment

Beth Stevens portrait

Stevens is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School in the FM Kirby Neurobiology Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and an Institute Member of the Broad Institute and Stanley Center for Neuropsychiatric Research. She will deliver the Nancy C. Andreasen Lecture at 11 a.m. in 1110A MERF (Prem Sahai Auditorium), presenting “Immune mechanisms of synapse loss: Implications for psychiatric illness.”

Stevens’s research seeks to understand the mechanisms that may contribute to the disappearance of synapses, or the points of communication between neurons, by focusing on how immune-related molecules may intervene in the process. Her work is redefining our understanding of how the wiring in the brain occurs and changes in early life and shedding new light on how the nervous and immune systems interact in the brain, both in health and disease.

Stevens was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2015. She has also received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, Dana Foundation Award, and Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging Award.

A Voice for Autism

Featuring Beth Stevens, Eli Gottlieb, Ted Abel, PhD, Jacob Michaelson, PhD, and Susan Assouline, PhD
When: Tuesday, April 24
Time: 7- 8:30 pm
Where: The Englert Theatre
This is a free public event.

On Tuesday evening, Stevens will join acclaimed author Eli Gottlieb and a panel of UI scientists and educators from the Iowa Neuroscience Institute (INI) to lead a community conversation about the science and societal impact of autism. The “Voice for Autism” event at the Englert Theater is free and open to the public.

Gottlieb, whose novels include The Boy Who Went Away and Best Boy, will talk about growing up with an older brother with autism and how he uses writing to process his experience and share his brother’s perspective.

Gottlieb and Stevens will be joined by INI faculty members Ted Abel, Susan Assouline, and Jake Michaelson for a panel discussion about emerging brain research related to autism and to take questions from the audience.

Both events are co-sponsored by the Iowa Neuroscience Institute.