Michal Schwartz

Michal Schwartz

The Maurice and Ilse Katz Professorial Chair in Neuroimmunology, Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

BREAKING THE WALL BETWEEN BODY AND MIND. How Neuroimmunology Develops New Strategies Against Brain Ageing and Degeneration

Michal Schwartz’ studies revolutionized the current understanding of degenerative conditions of the central nervous system. Her theory not only broke long-held dogmas, but also shattered a conceptual wall between the brain and the immune system, which plays a fundamental role throughout life in supporting brain plasticity – with far-reaching clinical implications for behavior, cognition, stress, neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases. Professor Schwartz has received numerous prestigious awards for her research, including the Friedenwald Award from ARVO (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology), the American Spinal Cord Injury Association’s Distinguished Heiner Sell Memorial Lectureship and the NARSAD (National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders) Distinguished Investigator Award. Additionally, Schwartz was selected as one of the Career Women of the Year 2000 in Israel, and in 2006 as one of the top ten “Women to Watch”. At Falling Walls, Schwartz explains the latest developments of her theory of “protective autoimmunity” that has inspired the search for new therapeutic strategies, harnessing or modulating immune cells to fight ageing, and acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases.