Elaine Hsiao is a postdoctoral fellow in chemistry and biology at Caltech. She received her undergraduate degree in microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics from UCLA and her doctoral degree in neurobiology from Caltech with Professor Paul Patterson. She studied neuroimmune mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders and uncovered a role for the commensal microbiota in regulating autism-related behaviors, metabolism, and intestinal physiology. Elaine has received several honors, including predoctoral fellowships from the National Institute of Health, Autism Speaks and the Caltech Innovation Program. She is currently studying the mechanisms by which microbes modulate host production of neuroactive molecules and aims to better understand how the human microbiota influences health and disease. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations) On January 18, 2013, Caltech hosted TEDxCaltech: The Brain, a forward-looking celebration of humankind’s quest to understand the brain, by exploring the past, present and future of neuroscience. Visit TEDxCaltech.com for more details.