Professor, Harvard Medical School, Department of Pathology, Boston Children’s Hospital
Dr. Maria Lehtinen is a professor at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Pathology at Boston Children’s Hospital. Her research focuses on the mechanisms by which the choroid plexus, an important brain barrier and producer of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), contributes to brain development and lifelong brain health.
Dr. Lehtinen received her Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Harvard University where she trained with Dr. Azad Bonni on molecular mechanisms regulating neuronal survival and death. She joined Anna-Elina Lehesjoki’s lab for her early postdoctoral work at the University of Helsinki, where she investigated the role of redox homeostasis in progressive myoclonus epilepsy. Lehtinen carried out further postdoctoral training with Christopher A. Walsh at Harvard, where they found that secreted factors in the CSF play active roles in instructing the development and health of the mammalian cerebral cortex. Dr. Lehtinen established her own laboratory at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2012, where she takes an interdisciplinary approach focused on basic and translational research related to choroid plexus-CSF-based signaling in the brain, with applications ranging from neurodevelopmental to age-associated neurologic diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Lehtinen currently holds the Hannah C. Kinney, MD, Chair in Pediatric Pathology Research. She is the recipient of several young investigator awards including a New York Stem Cell Foundation – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator, H.W. Mossman Award in Developmental Biology from the American Association of Anatomists, and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).