Bilbo, Bergelson Receive Bass Connections Professorships

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Congratulations to P&N's Staci Bilbo and Elika Bergelson, who have received Bass Connections professorships. They are among seven Duke professors across three Duke schools receiving these named professorships.

Bass Connections professorships recognize faculty whose scholarship and teaching align with the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of the program, while also recognizing the wider engagement and contributions of Duke schools to this university-wide effort. Individuals receiving Bass Connections professorships hold them for an initial term of up to seven years, with the possibility of renewal.

Over the past five years, Bass Connections has partnered with Duke schools and donors to create 13 faculty professorships, many of which align with one of the five Bass Connections themes. As the program continues to grow and evolve, we are grateful for the enduring commitment of our donors, whose support has inspired and strengthened our educational and research impacts and those of faculty leaders.

Elika Bergelson, Crandall Family Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Bass Connections theme: Education & Human Development

Bergelson’s research investigates the interplay of processes during language acquisition, including how word learning relates to social and cognitive development during the first two years of life. She is a member of the faculty steering committee for ABC Thrive, a Bass Connections initiative  that promotes research around early childhood development, and a recipient of an ABC Thrive interdisciplinary seed grant to study language acquisition in young children with impaired vision and hearing.

Staci Bilbo, Haley Family Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Bass Connections theme: Brain & Society

Bilbo’s research seeks to understand the role of the immune system during brain development, including how early life events shape health throughout the entire lifespan. Bilbo is returning to Duke as the Haley Family Professor in July 2019 after three years at Harvard University. While previously at Duke, Bilbo co-led two Bass Connections teams that investigated the impact of maternal health on brain development and the early-life origins of health disparities.