Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Shatz, Carla J.
Location Stanford University
Primary Field Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Secondary Field Systems Neuroscience
 Election Citation
Shatz has greatly advanced our understanding of how the pattern of precise and orderly connections in the mammalian central nervous system is achieved during development. She has shown that pre-visual neural function during fetal life plays a critical role in the formation of connections between the eye and the brain.
 Research Interests
Dr. Shatz's research is devoted to elucidating how early developing brain circuits are transformed into adult connections during developmental critical periods. She showed that even before birth, the brain spontaneously generates waves of neural activity required for synapse pruning and the formation of adult circuits. She discovered the involvement of MHC Class I proteins in synapse pruning and plasticity, revealing the existence of a common molecular language that regulates synapse stability and pruning in that healthy brain and is shared by both neurons and immune cells. Her discoveries have illuminated how neural-immune interactions contribute both to development and disease, with implications for improving brain plasticity and memory and for treating neurological disorders from Schizophrenia to Alzheimer's disease.

 
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