Jared Schwartzer Awarded Meribeth E. Cameron Faculty Award for Scholarship
Not only is Jared’s work important, his research productivity is remarkable: he has published many articles in top-notch peer-reviewed journals. His publications have been cited 750 times, reflecting the relevance of his work to other scientists.
Jared Schwartzer conducts ground-breaking research in the area of clinical neuroscience. His primary line of work investigates the neurobiological consequences of allergic asthma in pregnant mice on offspring brain and behavioral development. He proposes that select activation of the immune system during pregnancy induces long-term behavioral changes in the offspring that mirror the hallmark traits of autism. Beyond examining the role of maternal allergic asthma on the developing brain, Jared’s research collaborations seek to uncover the neurobehavioral consequences of other environmental factors, such as air pollution and electronic cigarette vapors. While previous research in this field has focused on genetic contributions to autism, Jared’s pioneering work is shifting this focus and drawing attention now to potential environmental contributions and their lifelong implications.
In one of his earlier papers, Jared and his collaborator used a novel mouse model to demonstrate a causal link between maternal allergic asthma and neurodevelopmental disorders. Subsequently, Jared and his collaborators eloquently illustrated the immune system’s role in behavior by rescuing sociability in non-social mice, and inducing autistic-like social behavior in normal mice, after exchanging the immune systems of the two mouse strains via bone marrow transplant. His most recent work, published in an elite journal, linked altered neuroimmune signaling to the detrimental behavioral effects of maternal electronic cigarette vapor exposure, and was a media sensation, prompting multiple interviews at local news stations and beyond.
Despite his use of preclinical rodent models, Jared’s work holds tremendous translational value in better informing care for pregnant people and identifying neuroimmunological biomarkers that may have clinical applications in regard to diagnosis and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders.
Impressively, while Jared was a visiting professor at the college, he submitted and was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The focus of the first grant was to link maternal allergic asthma to changes in the offspring, and then identify the critical time period during gestation when allergic asthma has the largest impact on the developing brain. Building on this work, Jared won a second R15 grant from the NIH to uncover the role of specific allergic asthma-induced immune signals in offspring brain development and furthermore, the compound role of maternal and offspring allergic responses on behavioral development from adolescence through adulthood. In addition, Jared was one of the main contributors to an NSF major research instrumentation proposal, which allowed for the purchase of a confocal microscope that is shared among STEM faculty.
Not only is Jared’s work important, his research productivity is remarkable: he has published many articles in top-notch peer-reviewed journals. His publications have been cited 750 times, reflecting the relevance of his work to other scientists. Jared’s interdisciplinary and accessible writing highlights the ways in which immunology and neuroscience inform one another. In addition, his lab has created opportunities for over 100 motivated and curious students interested in behavioral neuroscience.
Jared’s teaching is just as remarkable as his scholarship. He teaches statistics, psychopharmacology, a seminar in clinical neuroscience, and a lab in neuroscience that consistently receive rave reviews. Students describe his teaching as “wonderful” “helpful” “energetic” engaging”, “best professor ever” and “life-changing.” Jared works hard to create an inclusive environment in his classroom and his pedagogical talents enable him to create courses that are engaging, challenging, and supportive of student learning. Using funding from the Association for Psychological Science and in collaboration with his statistics teaching staff, Jared launched The Accessible Toolbox website to improve statistics instruction for students with disabilities.
Jared's dedication to his teaching, research endeavors, and to the college is excellent. He is a generous department colleague and college community citizen; his passion and enthusiasm motivate all of us to be better. The Mount Holyoke community is fortunate to have him in our ranks. We are delighted to present him with the Meribeth E. Cameron Faculty Award for Scholarship.