Dorothy Schafer, University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA
Dorothy Schafer

Dorothy (Dori) Schafer received her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Mount Holyoke College in 2001 and her PhD in Biomedical Science from the University of Connecticut Health Center in 2008. She then began her postdoctoral training at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Dr. Beth Stevens’ laboratory. Here, she made the discovery that microglia, the resident CNS macrophages, sculpt neural circuits in the developing brain by engulfing a subset of less active synapses.

Dr. Schafer is considered a leader in the field studying microglial function within neural circuits. Her earlier postdoctoral work showing microglia engulf and eliminate synapses via the classical complement cascade has served as a foundation for the field to understand new roles for microglia in regulating synaptic connectivity in health and disease. Dr. Schafer joined UMass Medical School in 2015 as an Assistant Professor where she was a recipient of a NIH R00 Pathway to Independence Award (NIMH), Charles H. Hood Child Research Award, a NARSAD Young Investigator Award, and the Brain Behavior Research Foundation Freedman Award Honorable Mention. Her laboratory utilizes a combination of cutting-edge molecular genetic approaches and imaging to uncover novel roles for microglia in modulating neural circuit structure and function in health and in neuroinflammatory diseases of the brain.

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