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Edwin S. Levitan, PhD

Professor & Vice Chair for Research Operations
E 1351 Thomas E. Starzl Biomedical Science Tower
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-648-9486
Fax: 412-648-1945


BA (Biochemistry), Cornell University, 1980
PhD (Biochemistry), Brandeis University, 1986.
Postdoctoral Fellow, MRC Molecular Neurobiology Unit, 1987-1988.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University, 1988-1990
Headshot of Edwin S. Levitan, PhD
The Levitan lab studies neuronal cell biology and signaling with a focus on neuropeptide release and the control of behavior. Cutting edge fluorescence imaging in living Drosophila synapses in the brain and periphery is combined with genetics and behavioral assays of circadian and sleep rhythms.  Current projects include determining how: (a) signaling controls neuropeptide packaging and vesicle traffic, (b) fusion pores govern release of small neuropeptides and large neurotrophins, and (c) neuropeptide release elicited by clock neuron electrical activity and/or intracellular signaling determines rhythmic behaviors.

Journal Articles

Klose MK, Bruchez MP, Deitcher DL and Levitan ES. Temporally and spatially partitioned neuropeptide release from individual clock neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 118(17):e2101818118, 2021.
Bulgari D, Deitcher DL, Schmidt BF, Carpenter MA, Szent-Gyorgyi C, Bruchez MP and Levitan ES. Activity-evoked and spontaneous opening of synaptic fusion pores. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 116(34):17039-17044, 2019.
Tao J, Bulgari D, Berkhoudt DA, Calderon MJ, Watkins SC, Fonseca Velez HJ, Sabeva N, Deitcher DL and Levitan ES. Drosophila Ptp4E regulates vesicular packaging for monoamine-neuropeptide co-transmission. J Cell Sci. 132(7):jcs224568 2019.
Wong MY, C Zhou, D Shakiryanova, TE Lloyd, DL Deitcher and ES Levitan.  Neuropeptide delivery to synapses by long-range vesicle circulation and sporadic capture.  Cell 148:1029-1038, 2012.

Sponsored Research

Dense-Core Vesicle Circulation, Capture and Synaptic Neuropeptide Release - 6/1/2017 - 5/31/2022
NIH - R01NS032385
Endoplasmic Reticulum NAD(P)H Dynamics in Dopamine Neurons - 8/1/2018 - 7/31/2020
NIH - R21NS106823