Helen Vuong, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Helen Vuong

Contact Info


Mailing Address:
Academic Office Building
2450 Riverside Ave S AO-401
Minneapolis, MN 55454

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Faculty Member, Division of Neonatology

PhD, Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA

MS, Integrative Biology and Physiology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA



Research Summary/Interests

Our lab is interested in dissecting the role of the microbiome in the development of neural circuits and behaviors in health and neurodevelopmental disorders. We will use interdisciplinary approaches to identify and characterize the mechanisms of interaction between microbes and host neural cells. We will use a longitudinal approach to track and investigate direct and long-term effects of microbially-derived molecules on brain development in utero and early postnatal life, and adult neural circuits. We aim to leverage the microbiome for diagnoses and therapeutic potential in neurodevelopmental disorders.


Vuong HE, Pronovost GN, Williams DW, Coley EJ, Siegler E, Qiu A, Kasantsev M, Rendon T, Hsiao EY (2020) The maternal gut microbiota modulates fetal neurodevelopment in mice. Nature. 586:281-286. PMID: 32968276

Williams DW, Vuong HE, Kim S, Lenon A, Ho K, Hsiao EY, Sung EC, Kim RH (2020) Indigenous microbiota protects against inflammation-induced osteonecrosis. Journal of Dental Research. 6:676-684. PMID: 32109361

Fung TC, Vuong HE, Luna CDG, Pronovost GN, Aleksandrova AA, Riley NG, Vavilina A, McGinn J, Rendon T, Forrest LR, Hsiao EY, (2019) Intestinal serotonin and fluoxetine exposure modulate bacterial colonization in the gut. Nature Microbiology. 12:2064-2073. PMID: 31477894

Lee K, Vuong HE, Nusbaum D, Hsiao EY, Evans CJ, Taylor AMW, (2018) The gut microbiome mediates reward and sensory responses associated with regimen-selective morphine dependence. Neuropsychopharmacology, 43:2606-14. PMID: 30258112

Olson CA, Vuong HE, Yano JM, Liang QX, Hsiao EY (2018) Interactions between indigenous bacteria from the gut microbiota mediate the anti-seizure effects of the ketogenic diet. Cell, 173:1728-41. PMID: 29804833.

Vuong HE, Hardi CN, Barnes SA and Brecha NC (2015) Parallel inhibition of dopamine amacrine cells and intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells in a non-image forming visual circuit of the mouse retina. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35:15955-70 PMID: 26631476

Vuong HE, Pérez de Sevilla Müller L, Hardi CN, McMahon DG, and Brecha NC (2015) Heterogeneous transgene expression in the retinas of the TH-RFP, TH-Cre, TH-BAC-Cre and DAT-Cre mouse lines. Neuroscience, 307:319-37 PMID: 26335381.