Newswise — A research team at NYU School of Medicine and its Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine is one of six from across the United States to receive newly established innovation funds from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ biomedical programs.

Robert Froemke, PhD, and Dan Littman, MD, PhD, will share a research award of $200,000 over the next two years. The Pew effort, launched this week, is designed to drive breakthroughs in biomedical research through support of collaborative, interdisciplinary research by pairing scientists who, individually, have previously received Pew funding.

In announcing the new awards, the Pew Foundation stated that Froemke and Littman will jointly “explore the interface between neuroscience and immunology, using techniques from one system to investigate the other.”                                     

Froemke is a neuroscientist who specializes in efforts to understand the impact of brain chemicals on animal behavior. Littman is an immunologist with expertise on T cells and HIV, who has also led investigations on how intestinal bacteria trigger autoimmune disease.

With support from Pew and others, Froemke and Littman have plans to probe “how the neuronal sensing of gut microbes and intestinal function can alter an animal’s behavior, work that could help map how information is relayed from the gut to the nervous system to promote recovery from illness.”

“Collaborations are at the root of all major scientific discoveries because every scientist is a subspecialist in one field or another, and no one can do all the investigative research on most big problems on their own,” says Froemke, an associate professor of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery, physiology, and neuroscience at NYU School of Medicine and a member of Skirball. Froemke was named a Pew scholar in 2012.

“We applaud the Pew effort and are honored to be among the first class of their latest awards,” says Littman, the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Professor of Molecular Immunology at NYU School of Medicine and a member of Skirball. Littman served as a Pew scholar advisor from 2007 to 2013.

Media Inquiries:

David March

(212) 404-3528

[email protected]

About NYU Langone Health:  

NYU Langone Health is a world-class, patient-centered, integrated academic medical center, known for its excellence in clinical care, research, and education. It comprises more than 200 locations throughout the New York area, including five inpatient locations, a children’s hospital, three emergency rooms and a level 1 trauma center.  Also part of NYU Langone Health is the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute–designated cancer center, and NYU School of Medicine, which since 1841 has trained thousands of physicians and scientists who have helped to shape the course of medical history.

For more information, go to, and interact with us on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram.