Michael Wells*

Email: mfwells@mednet.ucla.edu

Originally from Columbus, OH, Michael F. Wells earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Notre Dame in 2008, and a PhD in Neurobiology from Duke University in 2015 under the guidance of Dr. Guoping Feng. In 2021, he completed his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Kevin Eggan at Harvard University and the Broad Institute. His research focuses on discovering the foundations of human brain diversity and the mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism and intellectual disability. His work has been published in such high-impact journals as Nature, Cell, Neuron, and Cell Stem Cell, and has been funded by a F31 Predoctoral Fellowship, a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence award, and a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Enrichment Program award. Outside of the laboratory, Michael serves as the creator and co-director of the COVID-19 National Scientist Volunteer Database (covid19sci.org), which is a resource for health officials and decision-makers around the country looking to solve COVID-19-related problems. In addition, he is the Chair of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Trainee Advisory Committee and has previously participated in the SfN Early Career Policy Ambassador program.


Wells Lab site
Personal site

Research Interests:

Human Variation, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Neurodevelopment, Stem Cell Models, Human Genetics,


Burberry A, Wells MF, Limone F, Couto A, Smith KS, Keaney J, Gillet G, van Gastel N, Wang JY, Pietilainen O, Qian M, Eggan P, Cantrell C, Mok J, Kadiu I, Scadden DT, Eggan K. C9orf72 suppresses systemic and neural inflammation induced by gut bacteria. Nature. 2020 06; 582(7810):89-94. view on PubMed

Chen Q, Deister CA, Gao X, Guo B, Lynn-Jones T, Chen N, Wells MF, Liu R, Goard MJ, Dimidschstein J, Feng S, Shi Y, Liao W, Lu Z, Fishell G, Moore CI, Feng G. Dysfunction of cortical GABAergic neurons leads to sensory hyper-reactivity in a Shank3 mouse model of ASD. Nat Neurosci. 2020 04; 23(4):520-532. view on PubMed

Altimus CM, Marlin BJ, Charalambakis NE, Colón-Rodriquez A, Glover EJ, Izbicki P, Johnson A, Lourenco MV, Makinson RA, McQuail J, Obeso I, Padilla-Coreano N, Wells MF, for Training Advisory Committee. The Next 50 Years of Neuroscience. J Neurosci. 2020 01 02; 40(1):101-106. view on PubMed

Orefice LL, Mosko JR, Morency DT, Wells MF, Tasnim A, Mozeika SM, Ye M, Chirila AM, Emanuel AJ, Rankin G, Fame RM, Lehtinen MK, Feng G, Ginty DD. Targeting Peripheral Somatosensory Neurons to Improve Tactile-Related Phenotypes in ASD Models. Cell. 2019 08 08; 178(4):867-886.e24. view on PubMed

Salick MR, Wells MF, Eggan K, Kaykas A. Modelling Zika Virus Infection of the Developing Human Brain In Vitro Using Stem Cell Derived Cerebral Organoids. J Vis Exp. 2017 09 19; (127). view on PubMed

Wells MF, Salick MR, Wiskow O, Ho DJ, Worringer KA, Ihry RJ, Kommineni S, Bilican B, Klim JR, Hill EJ, Kane LT, Ye C, Kaykas A, Eggan K. Genetic Ablation of AXL Does Not Protect Human Neural Progenitor Cells and Cerebral Organoids from Zika Virus Infection. Cell Stem Cell. 2016 12 01; 19(6):703-708. view on PubMed

Wells MF, Wimmer RD, Schmitt LI, Feng G, Halassa MM. Thalamic reticular impairment underlies attention deficit in Ptchd1(Y/-) mice. Nature. 2016 Apr 07; 532(7597):58-63. view on PubMed

Peça J, Feliciano C, Ting JT, Wang W, Wells MF, Venkatraman TN, Lascola CD, Fu Z, Feng G. Shank3 mutant mice display autistic-like behaviours and striatal dysfunction. Nature. 2011 Apr 28; 472(7344):437-42. view on PubMed