Minding Our Microbial Symbionts

  • Speaker
  • Elaine Hsiao, Ph.D.De Logi Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Director, UCLA Goodman-Luskin Center, University of California, Los Angeles
Date & Time

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Presidential Lectures are free public colloquia centered on four main themes: Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Neuroscience and Autism Science. These curated, high-level scientific talks feature leading scientists and mathematicians and are intended to foster discourse and drive discovery among the broader NYC-area research community. We invite those interested in the topic to join us for this weekly lecture series.

Mammals have coevolved with a vast, diverse community of symbiotic microorganisms that profoundly influence host biology, including brain function and behavior. While many findings now support the existence of a microbiome-gut-brain axis, exactly how gut microbes interact with the nervous system to influence a variety of complex behaviors remains poorly understood.

In this talk, Elaine Hsiao will discuss recent discoveries that reveal biological pathways for communication between the gut microbiota and the brain.

About the Speaker

Hsiao is a director of the UCLA Goodman-Luskin Microbiome Center and De Logi associate professor of biological sciences at UCLA, where she is interested in all things microbial, neural and immune. She completed her B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at UCLA, which sparked her love for molecular biology and bacteria. She went on to complete her Ph.D. in Neurobiology at Caltech, where she studied the neurobiological bases of autism and schizophrenia with a focus on maternal effects on fetal development and neuroimmune and microbial contributions to behavioral disorders. Inspired by the amazing and complex interactions between body systems, the Hsiao laboratory is investigating how peripheral changes in the immune system and resident microbiota impact the nervous system.

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