Michael C. Saul

Postdoctoral Fellow

IGB GNDP Theme Postdoctoral Fellow

Michael has now moved on to a Postdoctoral Position at Jackson Laboratories working with Dr. Elissa Chesler!

Academic History

  • Ph.D. Zoology, The University of Wisconsin-Madison 2010-2014 (Advisor: Stephen C. Gammie)
  • B.S., Biology; B.A., Religious Studies, The University of Iowa 2003-2008


I am an organismal biologist interested in the physiology and evolution of neural and genetic systems underlying behavior. I study animal systems that allow the testing of new ideas about disposition and sociobiology. For more information about me, please visit my personal website.

Current Project

At the IGB, I primarily work on the Simons Foundation Project. This project was designed to examine the similarities and differences between three species—mice, three-spined sticklebacks, and bees—under conditions of social challenge and social opportunity.

Past Projects

My Ph.D. dissertation work utilized high-throughput tools such as automated video ethometry, gene expression microarrays, and next-generation sequencing to address the phenotype and genotype of an inbred mouse strain called Madison that displays aspects of bipolar disorder. I also worked on the neural genetic correlates of motherhood, their potential relationship to autism, and what these correlates tell us about sociobiology. Before graduate school, I spent a year studying wild white-faced capuchin monkeys in the jungles of Costa Rica under the direction of Susan E. Perry.


In Preparation or Under Review

  • Saul MC, Stevenson SA, Zhao C, Driessen TM, Eisinger BE, and Gammie SC. “Exome Resequencing of the Madison Mania Model Reveals Variants Related to Chromatin Packaging, Chronobiology, and Non-Canonical Cannabinoid Signaling.” (in preparation).


  • Mitchell CL, Saul MC, Lei L, Wei H, and Werner T. “The Mechanisms Underlying Alpha-Amanitin Resistance in Drosophila melanogaster: A Microarray Analysis.” Open Access.
  • Driessen TM, Eisinger BE, Zhao C, Stevenson SA, Saul MC, and Gammie SC (2014). “Genes Showing Altered Expression in the Medial Preoptic Area in the Highly Social Maternal Phenotype are Related to Autism and Other Disorders With Social Deficits.” BMC Neuroscience 15: 11 (Highly Accessed). Open Access.


  • Eisinger BE, Saul MC, Driessen TM, and Gammie SC (2013). “Development of a Versatile Enrichment Analysis Tool Reveals Associations between the Maternal Brain and Mental Health Disorders, Including Autism.” BMC Neuroscience 14: 147 (Highly Accessed). Open Access.
  • Saul MC, Stevenson SA, and Gammie SC (2013). “Sexually Dimorphic, Developmental, and Chronobiological Behavioral Profiles of a Mouse Model for Mania.” PLoS ONE 8(8): e72125. Open Access.
  • Eisinger BE, Zhao C, Driessen TM, Saul MC, and Gammie SC (2013). “Large Scale Expression Changes of Genes Related to Neuronal Signaling and Developmental Processes Found in Lateral Septum of Postpartum Outbred Mice.” PLoS ONE 8(5): e63824. Open Access.


  • Zhao C, Saul MC, Driessen TM, and Gammie SC (2012). “Gene Expression Changes in the Septum: Possible Implications for MicroRNAs in Sculpting the Maternal Brain.” PLoS ONE 7(6): e38602. Open Access.
  • Saul MC, Gessay GM, and Gammie SC (2012). “A New Mouse Model for Mania Shares Genetic Correlates with Human Bipolar Disorder.” PLoS ONE 7(6): e38128. Open Access.

Outside the Lab

When I’m not in the lab, I gravitate toward old bicycles, new passport stamps, craft beers, beautiful places, and strange animals.

Email Michael

msaul [at] illinois [dot] edu

A distant downstream enhancer directs essential expression of Tbx18 in urogenital tissues

Bolt CC, Elso CM, Lu X, Pan F, Kispert A, Stubbs L. A distant downstream enhancer directs essential expression of Tbx18 in urogenital tissues. Dev Biol. 2014 May 20. pii: S0012-1606(14)00265-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.05.010. [Epub ahead of print] @PubMed Continue Reading →