Beth Stevens, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School; Research Associate, F. M. Kirby Neurobiology Center; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI); Member, Broad Institute. 

Beth 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.

Her research seeks to understand the mechanisms that regulate the development and elimination of synapses by focusing on how microglia and immune-related molecules mediate this process.

Dr. Stevens received her Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2003 at the University of Maryland, College Park. She performed her dissertation research at the National Institutes of Health (NICHD) in the area of neuron-glia interactions. In her postdoctoral work with Ben Barres at Stanford University, she discovered that the classical complement cascade, part of the innate immune system, helps to mediate developmental CNS synapse elimination. Their findings have raised many questions about how the complement cascade normally works to eliminate synapses and especially whether it becomes abnormally reactivated in brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that impair synaptic connectivity. In 2008, Dr. Stevens established her independent laboratory in the FM Kirby Neurobiology Center at Children’s Hospital, where she is currently using a combination of molecular, physiological and high-resolution imaging techniques to dissect the mechanisms by which microglial cells and immune-related molecules (i.e. complements, cytokines) regulate synapse function during health and disease. She is investigating the mechanisms that drive synapse loss and dysfunction in AD and Huntington’s disease, as well as neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia. Dr. Stevens is a recipient of several young investigator awards, including the Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging, John Merck Scholar (2011), Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and a MacArthur Award.

To learn more, visit the Stevens Lab website.

Funded Research

These projects were made possible from Cure Alzheimer's Fund support.

Selected Publications

These published papers resulted from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund support.

Dolan, M. J., Therrien, M., Jereb, S., Kamath, T., Gazestani, V., Atkeson, T., Marsh, S. E., Goeva, A., Lojek, N. M., Murphy, S., White, C. M., Joung, J., Liu, B., Limone, F., Eggan, K., Hacohen, N., Bernstein, B. E., Glass, C. K., Leinonen, V., Blurton-Jones, M., … Stevens, B. Exposure of iPSC-derived human microglia to brain substrates enables the generation and manipulation of diverse transcriptional states in vitro, Nature Immunology, July 27, 2023, Read More

Hammond, T. R., Marsh, S. E., & Stevens, B. Immune Signaling in Neurodegeneration, Immunity, April 16, 2019, Read More

Tenner, A. J., Stevens, B., & Woodruff, T. M. New tricks for an ancient system: physiological and pathological roles of complement in the CNS, Molecular Immunology, October 1, 2018, Read More

Marsh, S. E., Walker, A. J., Kamath, T., Dissing-Olesen, L., Hammond, T. R., de Soysa, T. Y., Young, A. M. H., Murphy, S., Abdulraouf, A., Nadaf, N., Dufort, C., Walker, A. C., Lucca, L. E., Kozareva, V., Vanderburg, C., Hong, S., Bulstrode, H., Hutchinson, P. J., Gaffney, D. J., Hafler, D. A., Franklin, R. J. M., Macosko, E. Z., & Stevens, B. Dissection of artifactual and confounding glial signatures by single-cell sequencing of mouse and human brain, Nature Neuroscience, March 8, 2022, Read More

Yvanka de Soysa, T., Therrien, M., Walker, A. C., & Stevens, B. Redefining microglia states: Lessons and limits of human and mouse models to study microglia states in neurodegenerative diseases, Seminars in Immunology, September 22, 2022, Read More

Scott-Hewitt, N., Perrucci, F., Morini, R., Erreni, M., Mahoney, M., Witkowska, A., Carey, A., Faggiani, E., Schuetz, L. T., Mason, S., Tamborini, M., Bizzotto, M., Passoni, L., Filipello, F., Jahn, R., Stevens, B., & Matteoli, M. Local externalization of phosphatidylserine mediates developmental synaptic pruning by microglia, The EMBO Journal, July 13, 2020, Read More

Wieder, N., Fried, J. C., Kim, C., Sidhom, E. H., Brown, M. R., Marshall, J. L., Arevalo, C., Dvela-Levitt, M., Kost-Alimova, M., Sieber, J., Gabriel, K. R., Pacheco, J., Clish, C., Abbasi, H. S., Singh, S., Rutter, J. C., Therrien, M., Yoon, H., Lai, Z. W., Baublis, A., Subramanian, R., Devkota, R., Small, J., Sreehanth, V., Han, My., Lim. D., Carprenter, A. E., Flannick, J., Finucane, H., Haigis, M.C., Claussnitzer, M., Sheu, E., Stevens, B., Wagner, B. K., Choudhary, A., Shaw, J. L., Pablo, J. L., & Greka, A. FALCON systematically interrogates free fatty acid biology and identifies a novel mediator of lipotoxicity, Cell Metabolism, May 2, 2023, Read More

Paolicelli, R. C., Sierra, A., Stevens, B., et al. Microglia states and nomenclature: A field at its crossroads, Neuron, November 2, 2022, Read More

Whitson, H. E., Colton, C., El Khoury, J., Gate, D., Goate, A., Heneka, M. T., Kaddurah-Daouk, R., Klein, R. S., Shinohara, M. L., Sisodia, S., Spudich, S. S., Stevens, B., Tanzi, R., Ting, J. P., Garden, G., & Symposium Planning Committee members Infection and inflammation: New perspectives on Alzheimer’s disease, Brain, Behavior, & Immunity - Health, April 22, 2022, Read More

Liddelow, S. A., Marsh, S. E., & Stevens, B. Microglia and Astrocytes in Disease: Dynamic Duo or Partners in Crime?, Trends in Immunology, August 17, 2020, Read More

Liddelow, S. A., Guttenplan, K. A., Clarke, L. E., Bennett, F. C., Bohlen, C. J., Schirmer, L., Bennett, M. L., Münch, A. E., Chung, W. S., Peterson, T. C., Wilton, D. K., Frouin, A., Napier, B. A., Panicker, N., Kumar, M., Buckwalter, M. S., Rowitch, D. H., Dawson, V. L., Dawson, T. M., Stevens, B., Barres, B. A. Neurotoxic reactive astrocytes are induced by activated microglia, Nature, January 18, 2017, Read More