Helen Barbas is Professor at Boston University and School of Medicine. She studied neuroscience at McGill University (PhD) and Harvard Medical School (postdoctoral). She established and directs the Neural Systems Laboratory at Boston University, funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIMH and NINDS), the National Science Foundation and Autism Speaks. Her research focuses on the organization of the cerebral cortex, in general, and specifically on the pattern and synaptology of prefrontal pathways with excitatory and inhibitory systems associated with cognition, memory and emotions. Her work has led to establishment of a predictive model that links the laminar structure of the cortex to its connections (The Structural Model), the development of the cortex, the stability/plasticity continuum of cortical areas, and the preferential vulnerability of specific areas to neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia, depression and autism.