Michael Gandal is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. He received his B.S. in engineering (biomedical computation) from Stanford University and his M.D./Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania; his graduate studies involved using electrophysiology to investigate neural circuit dysfunction in mouse models of schizophrenia and autism. He completed his residency training in psychiatry at UCLA and a postdoctoral fellowship in neurogenetics in the laboratory of Dan Geschwind, characterizing the genetic contributions to shared gene expression alterations in the human brain across several major psychiatric disorders. Gandal joined the faculty at UCLA in 2017.
The Gandal laboratory employs systems-level, functional genomic approaches using human brain tissue to understand the neurobiological mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders, including autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The lab also conducts proof-of-principle clinical studies to investigate the translational potential of basic research findings; such studies involve using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to interrogate the functional significance of microglial activation in autism.