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Martha Herbert  

Pediatric Neurologist and Brain Development Researcher

Dr. Martha Herbert is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, a Pediatric Neurologist and Neuroscientist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and an affiliate of the Harvard-MIT-MGH Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, where she is director of the TRANSCEND Research Program (Treatment Research and Neuroscience Evaluation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders). She is the author of the public-oriented book, The Autism Revolution: Whole Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be.

Dr. Herbert earned her medical degree at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Prior to her medical training she obtained a doctoral degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz, studying evolution and development of learning processes in biology and culture in the History of Consciousness program, and then did postdoctoral work in the philosophy and history of science. She trained in pediatrics at Cornell University Medical Center and in neurology and child neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where she has remained. She received the first Cure Autism Now Innovator Award and spent five years on the Scientific Advisory Committee of Autism Speaks. Her background in pediatric neurology, evolutionary biology and history of science has oriented her toward systems biology, brain connectivity and dynamism, and brain-body-planet interrelationships.

Her main research interests are in addressing autism and various other chronic brain conditions as “dynamic encephalopathies” (that can change) rather than as “static encephalopathies” (that are fixed for life) and in how environmental vulnerability affects brain and body health and function in an ongoing fashion, and not just before birth. Therefore she takes four approaches.

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