Neuroimmune Interactions Shaping Social Behavior in Mouse Models for Neurodevelopmental Disorders

  • Speaker
  • Gloria Choi, Ph.D.Samuel A. Goldblith Career Development Assistant Professor of Applied Biology Picower Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Date & Time

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Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.

Viral infection during pregnancy correlates with increased frequency of neurodevelopmental disorders in offspring. This phenomenon has been modeled in mice prenatally subjected to maternal immune activation (MIA).

In this lecture, Gloria Choi will discuss her work on this subject. She and her colleagues previously showed that the T helper 17 (Th17) cell/interleukin-17a (IL-17a) pathway is crucial in pregnant mice for the induction of both cortical and behavioral abnormalities observed in MIA-affected offspring. They further showed that MIA phenotypes in offspring also require defined maternal gut commensal bacteria with a propensity to induce Th17 cells. More recent data suggest that cortical abnormalities in MIA offspring serve as causative factors for the emergence of aberrant behavioral phenotypes. She will discuss these and other related topics.

About the Speaker

Choi is the Samuel A. Goldblith Career Development Assistant Professor of Applied Biology at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Choi completed her Ph.D. at Caltech where she worked in the laboratory of David Anderson. She then went on to Columbia University, where she was a post-doctoral scientist in the laboratory of Richard Axel. Choi’s laboratory investigates the interaction between the immune system and the brain. In recent publications, she has shown how maternal microbiome and immune activation can influence the neurodevelopment of offspring. Choi has received numerous awards and recognitions for her contributions to her field, including the Peter Gruss Young Investigator award in 2018 and being named one of Cell magazine’s 40 under 40.

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