Katerina Semendeferi is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Laboratory for Human Comparative Neuroanatomy at UC San Diego. Starting in graduate school, Semendeferi undertook two major initiatives in the field of human brain evolution. One initiative involved establishing collaborations with zoos across the U.S. aimed to make available to science the brains of apes, following their natural death. The other initiative involved the novel application of structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging technology on the collected postmortem brain specimens, followed by a postdoctoral NIH fellowship in 1995 to begin scanning, in collaboration with the Yerkes Primate Research Center, the brain of living apes. These early initiatives provided comparative material and opportunities for many students of human and ape neuroanatomy and planted the seeds for the establishment of primate brain banks and the subsequent larger scale application of imaging techniques on living apes in this country. Semendeferi’s research involves the study of the frontal cortex and the limbic system in human evolution and in neurodevelopmental disorders. She showed that the relative size of the frontal cortex is remarkably similar across apes and humans and that evolutionary modifications in neuron density, nuclei volume, and dendritic tree branching characterize some, but not all, regions of the human cortex and the limbic system. The overarching hypothesis in her lab is that a phylogenetically recent reorganization of frontal cortical and amygdala circuitry took place that may be critical to the emergence of human-specific social and emotional functions, and that developmental pathology in these same systems underlie Autism and Williams Syndrome. WS, a genetic disorder characterized by distinctive alterations to social cognitive abilities, is targeted in her lab as an ideal model for understanding the reciprocal effect of genes on behavior in humans with implications for human evolution. Semendeferi is actively collaborating with pioneers in the field of induced pluripotent stem cells in an effort to bridge classical quantitative neuroanatomy and morphometry with this novel technology in ways that can move the field of brain evolution to the future.