Stephanie Hutt


Marvellous Microglia

I'm from: South Africa
Current Location: Hobart
Position: PhD Candidate, Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Field of research/work: Neuroscience
YTS Years: 2023

Stephanie's Notable career moments

  • Won gold medal science prizes at school with my best friend.

  • Bronze medal winner for a cheap light invention.

  • My English teacher encouraged me to pursue Law and Arts, not science!

  • Started studying Medical Research even though I was sure it wasn’t for me.

  • Gave nursing a go, but the pandemic had other plans.

  • Graduated from Medical Research after falling in love with neuroscience.

  • Completed my very own research project on microglia!

About Stephanie Hutt

Do you ever wish you had your very own, personal army following you around all day?

Keeping watch and making sure that you’re okay?

The great news is that you don’t have to wish for this because you do have special soldiers that are unique to you: your immune cells!

That’s right – your immune cells are crazy cool protection cells stationed throughout and constantly patrolling your body. These cells look for threats – like germs and injuries – and work quickly to keep you safe from them.


If you thought that was wicked, wait until you hear about the special division of immune cells in your brain!

These cells, called microglia (pronounced my-crow-glee-uh), are like highly trained soldiers. They are dynamic and flexible and act to keep our brain healthy and safe. But that’s not all; these cells have so many jobs in the brain!

They are also involved in how our brain grows and matures, can impact communication between brain cells, and can help to guide our brain cells’ movement.


I study microglia – these super-duper brain cells – and investigate how they can change their shape and appearance, as well as when and why they might do specific jobs in the brain. Even though you can tie your shoelaces, brush your teeth, and write your name, these are not jobs that you do all at once, or need to be doing every minute of the day.

These jobs depend on context. Similarly, microglia do different jobs based on context, and this is what I am exploring.


I think that microglia are the grooviest cells around, and maybe now you will too!

Stephanie's Photo Gallery