Jaclyn Beck


PhD, Neurobiology and Behavior, UCI, expected 2022
MS, Computer Sciences, UW Madison, 2012
BS, Computer Science, Northern Michigan University, 2010


I study the immune system's role in the progression of Alzheimer's Disease.


Jaclyn Beck studies why some people develop Alzheimer's Disease and some people don't. The brain's immune system plays a huge role in this. Immune cells are responsible for getting rid of toxins that build up in our brain as we age, but in some people this process doesn't work well. Jaclyn studies how the brain's immune system slows down as we age and what might cause it to stop protecting us from developing Alzheimer's Disease.

When not doing research, Jaclyn does various neuroscience outreach activities, including mentoring middle school students in UCI's Brain Explorer Academy. She is also a dancer, loves sci-fi shows and books, and has fun doing crafts like knitting or making costumes.

Why is science communication important to you?

There are so many wonderful (or weird, or confusing) things being discovered or developed every day! I want everyone to be as excited about that as I am. But sometimes it's hard to share the really exciting parts without getting bogged down in the not-so-exciting details. I want to keep improving that skill so that even occasional listeners or readers can have a ""Wow, that's cool!"" moment in their day.

And don't forget: scientists are people too! We have a lot of negative stereotypes about scientists floating around, and I want to help dispel those. I also hope that by making science more accessible to everyone, more people will want to become scientists.

Click here for Loh Downs by Jaclyn!