Michael O’Donnell joins Yale’s Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology as Assistant Professor. His research seeks to understand how microbial metabolites influence nervous system function. His work has included the discovery that neurotransmitters produced by gut bacteria can alter olfactory neuron function and feeding behavior. In his current program, he is expanding these findings and developing new tools to study how gut microbiome assembly influences feeding and social behaviors. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Cell and Molecular Biology before joining Brandeis University as a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA fellow where he studied sensory neuromodulation using the roundworm C. elegans.