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Grace E. Stutzmann (Beth), Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Neuroscience
Chicago Medical School
Room 2.216
Building: BSB
Phone: 847.578.8540
Fax: 847.578.8515


My research interests focus on studying the early neuronal pathology that develops in Alzheimer's disease (AD), long before the deposition of plaques and tangles and cognitive decline. To accomplish this, I use transgenic mice that have been engineered to express the human gene mutations that cause the inheritable form of AD. With these mice, I can examine within individual neurons how the AD mutations impair neuronal functioning and synaptic transmission across various stages of the disease process, with the goal of finding ways to block or reverse these impairments. By the time memory loss occurs in humans, the damage to the brain is often too extensive to reverse. My previous studies show that specific calcium-mediated signaling pathways are highly dysregulated in AD, and over time, may facilitate the formation of amyloid plaques and tangles, interfere with neuronal signaling processes that support learning and memory, and eventually kill the cell. To achieve these goals, I use innovative techniques to study real-time activity in living neurons, such as in vitro electrophysiology combined with 2-photon and CCD imaging of calcium signals within cellular compartments. In addition, extracellular recording techniques, immunohistochemistry, molecular biology and behavioral approaches are also incorporated. I am also examining target compounds that can impede the progression of AD pathology. The strategy is to normalize aberrant signaling pathways that are present prior to the formation of late stage markers of the disease.


Washington and Lee University
B.S. Biology/Psychology Cum laude
Omicron Delta Kappa (National Leadership Honor Society)

Stony Brook University

M.A. BioPsychology (Advisor: Dr. Rex Wang, Ph.D)

New York University
Ph.D. Center for Neural Science (Advisor:  Dr. Joseph LeDoux, Ph.D., Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science)

Post Doctoral Research Fellow (Mentor:  Dr. George Aghajanian)
Yale University School of Medicine
Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology

Post Doctoral Research Fellow (Mentors:  Dr. Frank LaFerla, Chancellor's Professor and Dean; Dr. Ian Parker, FRS, AAAS Fellow) University of California, Irvine
Department of Neurobiology and Behavior

Current Appointment
Associate Professor
Department of Neuroscience
The Chicago Medical School
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

RFUMS Affiliations/Memberships
Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine
Neurodegeneration and Repair Consortium
TBI-PTSD Working Group

Honors, Awards, and Lectureships
2003  Al Nichols Young Investigator Award, UC Irvine Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia Fund for Advanced
          Research in Priority Areas:  Calcium Signaling Workshop Fellowship Award (Chile) 
2004  Full Scholarship Award, Optical Microscopy in the Biological Sciences Course (UT San Antonio) 
          Dorothy  Dillon Eweson Lecturer on the Advances in Aging Research, American Federal of
          Aging Research (AFAR)
2006  AFAR-NYAS-GE Healthcare NeuroImaging Prize for Junior Investigators
2007  AFAR Travel Award, Biomarkers in Alzheimer's Disease (New York, NY)
2008  Board of Trustees Award, RFUMS
2009  Outstanding Contributor Award/The Alzheimer's Research Forum
          Best Biological Paper/Microscopy Society of America Award "Seeing the Brain in Action: 
          How Multiphoton Imaging has Advanced our Understanding of Neuronal Function"
          (2008) Microsc. Microanal. 14, 482-491.
2011  Dorothy Dillon Eweson Lecturer on the Advances in Aging Research (AFAR)
2012  Dorothy Dillon Eweson Lecturer on the Advances in Aging Research (AFAR)


Life in Discovery
Neuroscience Faculty