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Staci D. Bilbo, Haley Family Professor of Psycology and Neuroscience and Associate Director of Graduate Studies of Psychology and Neuroscience

Staci D. Bilbo
Contact Info:
Office Location:  GSRB II Rm 3016, Box 91050, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-2288
Email Address:   send me a message
Web Page:

Typical Courses Taught:

  • Neurosci 114, Fundamentals neurosci
  • Psy 156, Behavioral neuroimmunology (b)

Ph.D.Johns Hopkins University2003
MA PsychologyThe Johns Hopkins University2000
BA PsychologyThe University of Texas at Austin1998
B.A.University of Texas, 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)
Representative Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. Williamson, LL; Sholar, PW; Mistry, RS; Smith, SH; Bilbo, SD (2011). Microglia and memory: modulation by early-life infection.. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(43), 15511-15521. [22031897], [doi]  [abs]
  2. Schwarz, JM; Hutchinson, MR; Bilbo, SD (2011). Early-life experience decreases drug-induced reinstatement of morphine CPP in adulthood via microglial-specific epigenetic programming of anti-inflammatory IL-10 expression.. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(49), 17835-17847. [22159099], [doi]  [abs]
  3. Schwarz, JM; Sholar, PW; Bilbo, SD (2012). Sex differences in microglial colonization of the developing rat brain.. Journal of Neurochemistry, 120(6), 948-963. [22182318], [doi]  [abs]
  4. Bilbo, SD; Tsang, V (2010). Enduring consequences of maternal obesity for brain inflammation and behavior of offspring.. Faseb Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 24(6), 2104-2115. [20124437], [doi]  [abs]
  5. Bilbo, SD; Schwarz, JM (2012). The immune system and developmental programming of brain and behavior.. Front Neuroendocrinol, 33(3), 267-286. [22982535], [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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