Bethany Stieve

Ph.D. 2022

Thesis Title:

Closed-loop neuromodulation in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy

Current Position:

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Undergraduate Institution and Major:

University of Wisconsin, B.S. in Neurobiology, 2015

Graduate Advisor:

Esther Krook-Magnuson, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience

Graduate Research:

My research aims to expand our understanding of hippocampal circuitry, especially in the context of epilepsy. Specifically, I will study how hippocampal long-range inhibitory neurons may contribute to or alleviate epileptic activity in rodent epilepsy models.

Graduate Publications:

  • Stieve BJ, Smith MM, Krook-Magnuson E. LINCs are vulnerable to epileptic insult and fail to provide seizure control via on-demand activation. eNeuro. 2023 Jan 30:ENEURO.0195-22.2022.
  • Stieve BJ, Richner TJ, Krook-Magnuson C, Netoff TI, Krook-Magnuson E. Optimization of closed-loop electrical stimulation enables robust cerebellar-directed seizure control. Brain. 2023 Jan 5;146(1):91-108.
  • Brandner DD, Retzlaff CL, Kocharian A, Stieve BJ, Mashal MA, Mermelstein PG, Rothwell PE. Neuroligin-3 in dopaminergic circuits promotes behavioural and neurobiological adaptations to chronic morphine exposure. Addict Biol. 2023 Jan;28(1):e13247.

Graduate Abstracts:


  • Stieve BJ., Christenson Wick Z., Richner T., Netoff T., Krook-Magnuson E. Seizure-intervention via a novel hippocampal inhibitory cell population. Park City Epilepsy Meeting, October 2019.
  • Stieve BJ., Christenson Wick Z,, Krook-Magnuson E. Seizure-intervention via a novel hippocampal inhibitory cell population. Gordon Research Conference: Inhibition in the CNS, July 2019.

Graduate Awards:

  • UMII-MnDrive Informatics Graduate Assistantship 2020 
  • Park City Epilepsy Meeting Travel Award 2019
  • Center for Neuroengineering Travel Award 2019
  • Stark Award for Advanced Scholarship 2019
  • MnDRIVE Research Fellowship in Neuromodulation 2019
  • Morris Smithberg Memorial Prize 2018

Graduate Program in Neuroscience Committees:

  • Curriculum and Exam committee 2018-2020
  • Biomedical Research Day/Research Recognition Day Committee 2018-2019

Professional Outreach:

  • Brain Awareness Week 2018

Research Categories:

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases and Neural Injury
  • Neuroengineering
  • Neuroimaging and Optogenetics


Patrick Rothwell, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
Esther Krook-Magnuson, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
Matthew Johnson, Ph.D., Department of Biomedical Engineering
Ben Hayden, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience

Thesis Committee Members:

Yasushi Nakagawa, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience (Chair)
Esther Krook-Magnuson, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
Sarah Heilbronner, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
Tay Netoff, Ph.D., Department of Biomedical Engineering

Undergraduate Awards:

Distinctive Scholastic Achievement in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, 2015

Undergraduate or Post-Bac Research:

In the Department of Ophthalmology I analyzed a neuroprotective drug through in vivo and in vitro photic injury, which is a model of oxidative retinal degeneration.  

More recently, in the Department of Neuroscience, I investigated the role of dopamine in motivation and reward processing. I analyzed the effects of a dopamine transporter antagonist, methylphenidate (Ritalin), through behavioral and fMRI studies.

What Got You Interested In Research?

My initial interest in neuroscience was sparked by a Ted Talk given by Vilayanur Ramachandran (3 Clues to Understanding your Brain). I was very inspired by the idea of learning as a career, and after joining my first research lab, my passion for scientific discovery continued to grow.

Why Did You Choose MN?

The Graduate Program in Neuroscience had everything I was looking for in a graduate program – world-class research with enthusiastic faculty and students, set in an exciting place to live. I was especially impressed by the vast array of research on addiction. The summer program at Itasca was a great bonus!

Student Mentor and the Best Advice They Gave:

Morgan Newhoff: She gave me tips on setting up lab rotations.

Favorite Itasca Memory.

My favorite Itasca memory was karaoke at Lobo's!

Picture of Bethany Stieve