Maiken Nedergaard is dean’s professor and co-director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center and a professor of glial cell biology at the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Copenhagen. Her interests range from neuron-glia interactions to the role of astrocytes in aging, small vessel disease, stroke and cerebral blood flow. Her group described the glymphatic system, a brain equivalent of the lymphatic system, within which cerebrospinal fluid diffuses rapidly and mixes with interstitial fluids, thereby filtering metabolic byproducts that accumulate due to neuronal activity. The glymphatic system dramatically increases its activity during sleep; brain cleaning and detoxification are thus facilitated during sleep, providing a novel and direct explanation for sleep’s restorative effect. Nedergaard is an elected member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, the Royal Academy of Pharmacy of Spain, and Academia Europaea. In 2015 she received the Newcomb Cleveland Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Alzheimer Prize in Denmark. In 2018, she received the Fernström Foundation’s Nordic Prize in medicine, and in 2020 she received the Thomas Willis Lecture Award.