Todd Gillette

Todd Gillette 1


I am Board Chair of Democracy onAir. Democracy onAir is a nonpartisan 501c3 social enterprise that provides technical and management support for the democracy focused networks like US Democracy Network and for other  Grand Challenge networks.

I am a senior principal software engineer at Northrop Grumman. I have a PhD in Neuroscience from George Mason University.

OnAir Post: Todd Gillette


I studied Engineering and Computer Science at Swarthmore College, graduating in 2003, after which I moved to Virginia to work in IT (specifically knowledge managements systems) with Vivakos Inc until 2006. I then entered the Neuroscience PhD Program at George Mason University with a 2-year fellowship from Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study. After the fellowship was over, I became a Graduate Research Assistant under Dr. Giorgio Ascoli at Krasnow’s Center for Neural Informatics, Neural Structures, and Neural Plasticity (CN3) of Giorgio Ascoli. I spent a semester working with Dr. Ted Dumas and helping publish a paper on gene therapy in addressing stress.

In the CN3 as a Graduate Research Assistant under Dr. Ascoli, I used my extensive experience in software development, data management, statistics, data visualization, and bioinformatics. My dissertation research involved bioinformatic pattern searching applied to neuronal morphology, with further interests regarding neuronal networks and their specific information processing roles and capabilities, as well as science policy and educational outreach.


My work centered on neuronal morphology, with a focus in data mining and pattern analysis to determine distinct topological features (i.e. branching patterns) of various neuronal types. Some of my non open access articles can be requested and automatically delivered via my lab’s publications page.


  • PhD Neuroscience
    George Mason University
  • BS Engineering and Computer Science
    Swarthmore College
    1999 to 2003

Work Experience

  • Board Chair
    Democracy onAir
    2019 to present
  • Software Engineer
    OnAir Networks
    2014 to 2018
  • Sr. Principal Software Engineer
    Northrop Grumman Corporation
    2019 to present
  • Principal Systems Engineer / Future Technical Leader
    Northrop Grumman Corporation
    2016 to 2019


  • International Council on Systems Engineering (2017 – present)
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (2019 – present)
  • Society for Neuroscience (2007 – 2017)
  • GMU Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA) delegate for Neuroscience (2009 – 2012)
  • Neuroscience Graduate Student Organization – president (2010 – 2011)

Web Links

onAir Networks Activities

Posts Authoring

onAir Networks


Topological characterization of neuronal arbor morphology via sequence representation: I – Motif analysis
By: Gillette TA, Ascoli GA
BMC Bioinformatics, 16

Topological characterization of neuronal arbor morphology via sequence representation: II – Global alignment.
By: Gillette TA, Hosseini P, Ascoli GA
BMC Bioinformatics, 16

Statistical analysis and data mining of digital reconstructions of dendritic morphologies
By: Polavaram S, Gillette TA, Parekh R, Ascoli GA
Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, 8(138):138

The DIADEM Metric: Comparing multiple reconstructions of the same neuron
By: Gillette TA, Brown KM, Ascoli GA.

Measuring and Modeling Morphology: How Dendrites Take Shape
By: Gillette TA, Ascoli GA
In Le Novere N. (Ed.), “Computational Systems Neurobiology”, pp. 387-428, Springer

Anti-glucocorticoid gene therapy reverses the impairing effects of elevated corticosterone on spatial memory, hippocampal neuronal excitability, and synaptic plasticity,
By: Theodore C Dumas, Todd A Gillette, Deveroux Ferguson et al.
1712-1720. In Journal of Neuroscience 30 (5)

On Comparing Neuronal Morphologies with the Constrained Tree-edit-distance
By: Todd A Gillette, John J Grefenstette
In Neuroinformatics 7 (3).

Quantifying neuronal size: summing up trees and splitting the branch difference
By: Kerry M Brown, Todd A Gillette, Giorgio A Ascoli
485-493. In Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology 19 (6)


  • Assisted technically in the art sculpture project Mental Floss, producing a virtual model and assisting with the projects underlying data
  • Researched at University of Central Florida’s Center for Research in Computer Vision (in 2002 as part of an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates)
Skip to toolbar