Mala Murthy is an American neuroscientist and Professor of Neuroscience at Princeton University and leads the Murthy lab in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute – their work focuses on the neural mechanisms that underlie social communication, using the fruit fly Drosophila as a model system.
Prof. Murthy received her B.S. in Biology from MIT. She was a Burchards scholar in the humanities and won the John L. Asinari prize for outstanding undergraduate research in the life sciences. She then received her PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford University, working with Thomas Schwarz and Richard Scheller – her thesis research centered on mechanisms of vesicle trafficking to synaptic and other cell membranes. She did postdoctoral work in systems neuroscience with Gilles Laurent at Caltech, as a Helen Hay Whitney fellow. Her postdoctoral work initiated a new area of investigation into stereotypy in the central brain of Drosophila, in a region of the brain important for learning in memory. In 2010, she joined the faculty at Princeton University in the Departments of Molecular Biology and Neuroscience. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2016 and to Full Professor in 2019.