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Staci D. Bilbo, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Neurobiology

Staci D. Bilbo
Contact Info:
Office Location:  3016 GSRB II, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-2288
Email Address:   send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Fall 2019):   (typical courses)

  • Psy 279.01, Behavioral neuroimmunology Synopsis
    Soc/psych 126, MW 03:05 PM-04:20 PM

Ph.D.Johns Hopkins University2003
MA PsychologyThe Johns Hopkins University2000
BA PsychologyThe University of Texas at Austin1998
B.A.University of Texas at Austin1998

Systems and Integrative Neuroscience
Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
Research Interests:

The overarching goal of my research is to understand the mechanisms by which the immune, endocrine, and nervous systems interact, and how these interactions influence complex behavior such as cognition and emotion. The immune system is well characterized for its critical role in host defense. Far beyond this limited role however, there is mounting evidence for the vital role the immune system plays within the brain, in both normal, “homeostatic” processes (e.g., sleep, metabolism), as well as in pathology, when the dysregulation of immune molecules may occur. The developing brain in particular is exquisitely sensitive to both endogenous and exogenous signals, and increasing evidence suggests the immune system has a critical role in brain development and associated behavioral outcomes for the life of the individual. Notably, evidence from both animal and human studies implicates the immune system in a number of disorders with known or suspected developmental origins, including schizophrenia, anxiety/depression, and autism. Thus, the proximate goal of my research program is to determine how seemingly disparate challenges during the perinatal period of life, such as infection, stressors, or toxins, may converge on the immune system and thereby markedly influence brain development, as well as cognitive and affective behaviors throughout the remainder of the lifespan. Conversely, we are also exploring how interventions, such as nurturing maternal care or environmental enrichment, can work to counteract the deleterious effects of early-life infection, trauma, or stress, again via their impact on neuroimmune communication.

Areas of Interest:

Cytokines and Cognition
Developmental Programming
Neural-Glial Interactions


Developmental Neuroimmunology Lab
Curriculum Vitae
Postdocs Mentored

  • Richa Hanamsagar (June 10, 2013 - present)
  • Susan Smith (May, 2010 - May, 2012)
  • Nicole Huff (January 1, 2010 - February, 2012)
  • Jaclyn M Schwarz (October 1, 2008 - December, 2012)
Recent Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. Bordt, EA; Ceasrine, AM; Bilbo, SD (2019). Microglia and sexual differentiation of the developing brain: A focus on ontogeny and intrinsic factors.. Glia. [doi]  [abs]
  2. Edlow, AG; Glass, RM; Smith, CJ; Tran, PK; James, K; Bilbo, S (2019). Placental Macrophages: A Window Into Fetal Microglial Function in Maternal Obesity.. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience, 77, 60-68. [doi]  [abs]
  3. Kingsbury, MA; Bilbo, SD (2019). The inflammatory event of birth: How oxytocin signaling may guide the development of the brain and gastrointestinal system.. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 55, 100794. [doi]  [abs]
  4. Bordt, EA; Smith, CJ; Demarest, TG; Bilbo, SD; Kingsbury, MA (2019). Mitochondria, Oxytocin, and Vasopressin: Unfolding the Inflammatory Protein Response.. Neurotoxicity Research, 36(2), 239-256. [doi]  [abs]
  5. Smith, CJ; Bhanot, A; Norman, E; Mullett, JE; Bilbo, SD; McDougle, CJ; Zürcher, NR; Hooker, JM (2019). A Protocol for Sedation Free MRI and PET Imaging in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49(7), 3036-3044. [doi]  [abs]
Richa Hanamsagar -- Postdoctoral Colleague; Michael Lacagnina -- Graduate Student; Carina Block -- Graduate Student; Christine Belliveau -- Associate in Research; Melanie Wiley -- Associate in Research; Stewart Cox -- Associate in Research; Bailey Ryan -- Undergraduate Researcher; Sammie Truong -- Undergraduate Researcher; Dominic Le -- Undergraduate Researcher Haley Sullivan -- Undergraduate Researcher

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