Donna Jackson Nakazawa

presents

The Angel and the Assassin:
The Tiny Brain Cell That Changed the Course of Medicine

in conversation with BETH STEVENS

moderated by CAREY GOLDBERG

This event includes a book signing

Date

Jan
30
Thursday
January 30, 2020
6:00 PM

Location

Harvard Science Center
Hall C, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store, the Harvard University Division of Science, and the Cabot Science Library are thrilled to welcome award-winning journalist DONNA JACKSON NAKAZAWA for a discussion of her latest book, The Angel and the Assassin: The Tiny Brain Cell That Changed the Course of Medicine. She will be joined in conversation by groundbreaking neurologist and Harvard Medical School professor BETH STEVENS. Their conversation will be moderated by CAREY GOLDBERG, host of WBUR's CommonHealth section. This event is co-sponsored by WBUR.

About The Angel and the Assassin

Until recently, microglia were thought to be merely the brain’s housekeepers, helpfully removing damaged cells. But a recent groundbreaking discovery revealed them to be capable of terrifying Jekyll and Hyde behavior. When triggered—and anything that stirs up the immune system in the body can activate microglia—they can morph into destroyers, impacting a wide range of issues from memory problems and anxiety to depression and Alzheimer’s. Under the right circumstances, however, microglia can be coaxed back into being angelic healers, able to repair the brain in ways that help alleviate symptoms and hold the promise to one day prevent disease.

A fascinating behind-the-scenes account of this cutting-edge science, The Angel and the Assassin also explores the medical implications of these game-changing discoveries. Award-winning journalist Donna Jackson Nakazawa began her investigation with a personal interest—when diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder years ago, she was convinced there was something physical going on in her brain as well as her body, though no doctor she consulted could explain how the two could be interacting in this way. With the compassion born of her own experience, she follows practitioners and patients on the front lines of treatments that help to “reboot” microglia—from neurofeedback and intermittent fasting to transcranial magnetic stimulation and gamma light flicker therapy. She witnesses patients finding significant relief from pressing symptoms—and at least one stunning recovery—offering new hope to the tens of millions who suffer from mental, cognitive, and physical health issues.

Proving once and for all the biological basis for the mind-body connection, the discovery of the true role of microglia stands to rewrite psychiatric and medical texts as we know them. Hailed as “riveting,” “stunning,” and “visionary,” The Angel and the Assassin offers us a radically reconceived picture of human health and promises to change everything we thought we knew about how to heal ourselves.

Praise for The Angel and the Assassin

“A fascinating deep dive into the unsung heroes (and villains) inside our skulls . . . Donna Jackson Nakazawa has a journalist’s eye for story, a scholar’s understanding of the research, and a patient’s appreciation for how high the stakes truly are.” —Susannah Cahalan, New York Times bestselling author of Brain on Fire

“An inspiring account that will provide a game-changing view of health for generations of researchers, clinicians, and citizens for years to come. Bravo!” —Dan Siegel, M.D., clinical professor, UCLA School of Medicine, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute

“Colorful, page-turning, and accessible . . . I have great hopes for the practical application of what Jackson Nakazawa reveals.” —Amy Myers, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of The Autoimmune Solution

Beth Stevens
Beth Stevens

Beth Stevens

Beth Stevens received a B.S. from Northeastern University and a Ph.D.from the University of Maryland. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University and is currently an associate professor in the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and a research associate at the F. M. Kirby Neurobiology Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is also an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Her scientific papers have appeared in such journals as Neuron, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Nature Neuroscience, among others.

Carey Goldberg
Carey Goldberg

Carey Goldberg

Carey Goldberg covers health and science, and is the host of WBUR's CommonHealth section. She has been the Boston bureau chief of The New York Times, a staff Moscow correspondent for The Los Angeles Times, and a health/science reporter for The Boston Globe. She was a Knight Science Journalism fellow at MIT, graduated summa cum laude from Yale, and did graduate work at Harvard. She is co-author of the triple memoir Three Wishes: A True Story Of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak and Astonishing Luck On Our Way To Love and Motherhood.

Donna Jackson Nakazawa
Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Donna Jackson Nakazawa is an award-winning journalist and internationally-recognized speaker whose work explores the intersection of neuroscience, immunology, and human emotion. She is the author of six books, including The Angel and The Assassin: The Tiny Brain Cell That Changed the Course of Medicine, Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal, The Last Best Cure, The Autoimmune Epidemic, and Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? A Parent’s Guide to Raising Multicultural Children. Her writing has been published in the Washington Post, Health Affairs, Aeon, More, Parenting, AARP Magazine, Glamour, and elsewhere. She lives with her family in Maryland.

 
There is NO PARKING at the Science Center. For those traveling to the Science Center by car, there is paid public parking in Harvard Square. More info here.

Harvard Science Center
Hall C, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA

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The Harvard Science Book Talks series is a collaboration between the Harvard University Division of Science, Cabot Science Library, and Harvard Book Store. The series features talks by the authors of recently published books on a variety of science-related topics and is open to both the Harvard community and to the general public. Typically, lectures are followed by a book signing with the author and refreshments. Learn more and watch recordings of past talks here

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