Troy Littleton

Troy Littleton, M.D., Ph.D., is a Professor of Neuroscience in the Departments of Biology and Brain and Cognitive Sciences and The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT. Troy earned his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Baylor College of Medicine with Hugo Bellen characterizing synaptic vesicle exocytosis using the Drosophila model. After completing his M.D./Ph.D. studies, Troy did postdoctoral work with at the University of Wisconsin in Madison with Barry Ganetzky, one of the early founders of the Drosophila neurogenetics field. Following post-doctoral work, Troy moved to MIT in 2000, where the lab has been characterizing basic features of how synapses form, how they transmit information and how they undergo functional and structural plasticity. The lab is also actively dissecting the mechanisms of neurotransmitter release and retrograde signaling at synapses. More recently the lab has also been interested in the mechanisms and functions of glial-neuronal signaling in the brain. In addition, the lab is using Drosophila models to study several neurological disorders, including epilepsy, Huntington’s Disease, and autism. Troy has received numerous awards for the lab’s research, including a Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship, a Searle Scholar Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, a Human Frontiers Science Program Fellowship, the Poitras Scholar Award in Neuroscience and a Packard Foundation Fellowship for Science and Engineering. In addition, Troy has served as a member of numerous NIH Study Sections and mentored more than 60 students and postdoctoral fellows during his career. Currently, he serves as Director of MIT’s Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Graduate Program.