Helen Vuong earned her B.S. in neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She continued her graduate education at UCLA, earning her Ph.D. in molecular, cellular and integrative physiology under the mentorship of Dr. Nicholas C. Brecha. During her graduate studies, Vuong investigated the anatomical and electrophysiological regulation of retinal microcircuits by neuropeptides, including somatostatin and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide. She began her postdoctoral tenure in Dr. Elaine Y. Hsiao’s lab. In her postdoctoral research, Vuong aims to elucidate the role of the maternal microbiome in fetal brain development, including modulation of neuronal connectivity, activity and function. In particular, she will focus on specific bacteria species that affect serotonin synthesis and serotonin’s role in brain development. Vuong is also interested in understanding how changes in the maternal microbiome may affect offspring social and communicative behavior. Additionally, as an IRACDA fellow in UCLA’s UPLIFT program, she hopes to continue her research and pursue her passion in education and outreach, eventually developing and implementing an introductory gut—brain axis laboratory course.