Dan Littman is the Helen and Martin Kimmel Professor of Molecular Immunology in the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine and in the Departments of Pathology and Microbiology of the New York University School of Medicine. He is also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Littman discovered the excitement of science while he was an undergraduate student at Princeton University. He went on to receive his M.D. and Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. As post-doc in Richard Axel’s lab at Columbia University, Littman isolated the genes for CD8 and CD4, molecules involved in T lymphocyte development. Littman then joined the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco where he was one of the first scientists to recognize that HIV infects T helper cells by binding to CD4. Since 1995, Littman has been based at NYU.
Littman’s lab has continued to study the development and differentiation of T lymphocytes. They are interested in understanding how a normal protective immune response differs from a pathogenic response such as that found in inflammation and autoimmune disease. Currently, they are also investigating the importance of the microbiome in influencing immunity.
Littman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science and the American Academy of Microbiology. His groundbreaking work has been recognized with many prizes including the 2004 New York City Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Science and Technology, the 2013 Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine, and the 2016 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science amongst others. Learn more about Littman’s research here.